MAYWOOD'S MEZZOTINT COPPER PLATE
who has hand-rocked a copper plate using a mezzotint rocker will
know how much hard work is needed. All the effort does however
seem worthwhile when the results are surely some of the most stunning
examples of chiaroscuro possible in intaglio printmaking.
Commercially prepared 'pre-mezzotinted' plates are available,
but these do not yield such rich, deep tones as a plate that has
been rocked in the traditional manner. The reason is that the
former are made using knurled rollers that produce a fine though
shallow burr in the metal. Traditional mezzotint rocking tools,
because of their shape, cut more deeply into the metal surface
creating a much deeper burr and hence a greater tonal range available
to the artist.
Maywood's Mezzotint Copper Plates
are made using best quality traditional mezzotint rockers made
by Lyon's. Each full sized plate is individually crafted using
a specially adapted pole-rocking system which not only maintains
constant pressure and angle of the rocker blade to the plate surface,
but also controls rocking motion and spacing to give a perfect
plate is rocked with at least 2 complete passes in each
of 12 different directions (see diagram). This gives a minimum
of 24 complete passes to create a deep, richly textured
Maywood's Mezzotint Copper Plates offer
the finest traditionally rocked copper plate you can buy
with the potential to render the tiniest detail and greatest
tonal contrast without all the hard work.
Available in 30 standard sizes from 50 x 60mm to 300 x 300mm
using 1.2mm copper sheet. Rockers used are 65 line (medium),
85 line (fine) or 100 line (extra fine). Larger sizes up
to 600x600mm available on request. The diagram above shows
the 12 directions of passes, each plate is literally 'rocked
around the clock'.
Please note: plates can be customised as a variation
of these directions to give a particular weave to the surface
ground, minimum size for this service is 300x300mm, but
at no extra cost.