panel of 4 images of art work
Laura Morton - Artist's Statement

I work in my home studio, where I do all aspects of my work myself. The natural world and its beauty are my inspiration.

Etchings are my main medium. An etching is made from a plate of metal; I use both copper and zinc. A thin layer of a waxy resist is applied to the plate; the back is also protected. A sharp tool called an etching needle is used to draw an image on the plate; it cuts through the resist, exposing the metal wherever lines have been drawn. The plate is then immersed in an acid bath; the acid reacts chemically with, and “bites” or etches the metal that has been exposed. In this way a printing plate is made. These steps may be repeated many times, along with other techniques (scraping, aquatinting, engraving) before the plate is complete and ready for edition printing.

   From the Lookout
Shannon Moore Pyrography
To print the plate, it is taken out of the acid bath, the resist is removed, the edges are filed and beveled smooth. A stiff ink is applied to the entire plate, then wiped off the surface; the etched lines hold ink. Dampened paper is then laid on the inked plate and cranked through the etching press by hand, under great pressure. When the paper is lifted off the plate, it is a mirror image: a ridge of ink corresponds to each etched groove of the plate.

Laura Morton Etching
 Pond : Early Spring
When the etching dries, it can be used in a number of ways. Some works are offered as simple black and white etchings (black ink, printed on off-white paper), to others I add watercolor. In my recent play with making collages, I can ink in two ways, in whatever colors I mix. I can use stiff ink, and wipe it off the surface, or make a more fluid consistency of ink which may be painted onto the plate. It both fills the etched lines and lays on the surface of the plate, allowing a more solidly colored, richly textured print to be pulled from the plate. I use only acid-free papers and pastes in these collages, and most or all of the papers are other etchings or painted papers I have made.

I print almost exclusively on 100% cotton rag paper. My matting and framing materials are always archival as well. The acid-free materials protect the pieces as well as they can possibly be protected.