Naoto Abe - Empress Tree

Naoto Abe - Mezzotint Print - Empress Tree
Naoto Abe - Mezzotint Print - Empress Tree

Naoto Abe - Empress Tree


Mezzotint Print ( 54/ 75 )

Artist: Naoto Abe・安部直人

Title: ‘Empress Tree’・桐

Year: 2002

Size: 28.5 x 14.7 cm

Materials: Paper, Deep Etching, Mezzotint

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Mezzotint Copper-Plate Printing:

- To begin, the artisan uses a curved blade called a 'rocker' which is rocked back and forth over the copper plate. Doing so, creates hundreds of tiny groves or 'burrs' which are intended to catch and hold ink. This 'burred' textured surface produces an extremely soft, velvety black colour when printed - one of the hallmarks of this art form.

The artist then uses a scraper or burnisher to smooth and carve out their desired motif. In this way, mezzotint prints are crafted from dark, to light.

Once complete, the plate is covered in ink, rubbed down to remove excess ink, pressed onto a damp sheet of paper, and then run through an 'intaglio press.' The copper plate is only able to make a small number of high contrast, sharp impressions before it has to be re-worked.