Copper Plate Etching, Twinkle, twinkle Little Bat!

by Angela

I have wanted to do a Bat image for some time now.  I have always loved Bats and finally got round to joining the Bat Conservation Trust in 2014.  I did an evening class at Cardiff Print Workshop in September 2015 so decided to make a Copper Plate Etching of a Bat. I wanted to use some text to go with it and for a while could not think of anything. Then I remembered one of my favourite bits from Alice In Wonderland when the Mad Hatter sings – “Twinkle, twinkle, little Bat!” I didn’t have the confidence to draw directly on to the plate so put the image on tracing paper and then transferred it to the plate by going over the lines with pencil – similar to the process I use with rubber stamps.


As with the Rubber Stamps I typed the text on a Typewriter and then scanned it and enlarged it. It was easier than I thought to draw it/scratch it out (of the stop-out) on the plate. The plate is then etched with Ferric Chloride and you can see the result below.


Once the line drawing was etched I pulled the first print.

The final print (below) is not as I imagined and unfortunately the text was lost in the process. I messed up the plate a bit but it wasn’t a total loss – thanks to the guidance of Bill Chambers the Tutor who helped me ‘rescue’ it.  I still like it though – the Bat coming out of the darkness. After completing the image I wanted to try it on a Rubber Stamp to see the results – and I did. I will post pictures and the process soon.  Also if you want to try your hand at Printing either as a total beginner or you want to try a new process like I did there are several courses at Cardiff Print Workshop I thoroughly enjoyed mine 🙂

Bat Conservation Trust

Cardiff Print Workshop

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4 comments

Elephant's Child 8th February 2016 - 9:02 am

DEFINITELY not a total loss. I love the bat coming out of the darkness, and any day where we learn is a good one.

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Angela 8th February 2016 - 12:43 pm

Thank you Elephant's Child – agreed any day we learn is a good one 🙂

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Paper Chipmunk (aka Ellen) 21st February 2016 - 10:09 am

It's wonderful, Angela! Perhaps it's not what you originally intended, but I also love the effect of the bat shining in the dark.

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Angela 21st February 2016 - 2:13 pm

Thanks Ellen. A lot of this affect was achieved by the inking of the plate – thanks to the helpful tutor Bill Chambers.

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