About the Residency


about residency



Introduction

The Electro-etching residency introduces the artist to an alternative technique of intaglio etching, using a completely non-toxic electrical process, and thus avoiding completely the harmful acids used in traditional etching. The electro-etching residency is located within the workshop and residence of the artist Alfonso Crujera, a master printmaker and specialist in the varied techniques of etching with electrolysis.

 

About Electro Etching

Today many etchers are growing increasingly concerned about the highly toxic nature of their craft. In response, they are investigating new products, new resists and mordents, and are discovering how to modernize and improve upon traditional techniques.

It is usual to hear of “non-toxic” or “low-risk” etching, where acids are replaced with salts, and asphaltum resists are replaced with non-toxic acrylic or oil-based resists. These substitutions (and lots more) create a corpus of low-risk materials and techniques that can transform the workspace into safe and clean environment, free from dangerous substances.

One of these processes, electro-etching, is a forgotten and practically unknown technique from the 19th Century. It is currently one of the most attractive, innovative, and practical method of etching copper, zinc, or iron plates, minimising the risks for both the etcher and the environment. The electro-etching process does not generate toxic gases, nor does it produce residues. The mordents do not become exhausted by successive bites and neither noxious rosin nor asphaltum are used for aquatint. 


About Alfonso Crujera

Since 2001, when he was first introduced to the technique of electro-etching at Atelje Larsen in Helsinborg, Sweden, Alfonso Crujera (Seville, 1951) has devoted himself to the practice of this new technique. The knowledge and experience gained through his extensive investigations has been shared at conferences and courses on electro-etching at universities and workshops. He has published a manual and numerous articles outlining the diverse processes of etching using electrolysis. His expertise has been in demand in Spain and Mexico, advising the setup of electro-etching units in workshops and teaching specialised courses.

 

The location

The non-toxic workshop and residence of the artist, Alfonso Crujera, is located on the north coast of the island of Gran Canaria, Spain. It is 700 metres from the neighborhood of San Felipe, which boasts tidal swimming pools, restaurants, and a beach ideal for surfing. 

The residence is a traditional coastal farmhouse, lovingly restored by the artist.  The print workshop is 70m² and has an adjoining private studio apartment available for the resident artist.  It is located on the slopes of a beautiful ravine, abundant with plants native to the Canary Islands.  From the naturally lit studio, the residence and the balconies, you can enjoy the magnificent panorama of the sea and surrounding farmland.  The area enjoys a very pleasant and moderate subtropical climate year round, with average temperatures ranging between 12-28ºC.

In this natural environment, perfect for reflection and creativity, the artist has transformed the workshop into a workspace that is free from toxic emissions and respectful to the environment. 


Duration of residency

From two weeks to one month.


During the Residency

The resident artist will be introduced to the fascinating process of electro-etching copper and zinc plates instead of using traditional acids. He will have access to the master’s direct and personal assistance and will have the opportunity to develop their current knowledge of non-toxic etching using electricity, applying these techniques to their own work. The artist will also learn how to assemble an electro-etching unit themselves, so they will be able to continue electro-etching in their own studio back home.

The workshop is available to the resident artists 24 hours a day.


Theoretical content

• Rudiments of electrolysis

• History of electro-etching

• Principles of electro-etching

• The electro-etching unit.

• How set up an electro-etching unit from the beginning

    (You do not need any previous knowledge of electricity)

• Preparing the electrolyte

• Voltage and amperage


Practical content

• Preparation of the plate, including filing and degreasing

• Hard ground, etching lines

• Electrotint with open bite

• Resists made with graphite ink

• Soft ground

• Deep bite with passive electrolysis

• Semi-dry electro-etching

• Alternative resists (lithographic pencil, oxidation, splashing, electroplate, etc.)

• Galvanizing lines and electrotint

• Galvanography

• Safety rules


Language: English and Spanish

• This workshop-residency is a private organization, and we do not provide grants to the artists. The artists must secure their own funding. The Residency is happy to assist artists seeking grants by providing a letter of invitation.


International open call for applications to attend the residency 

For more details about the residence, please email: electro@crujera.com

Download the Registration Form.


• The workshop-residence has offered this year 2017 two grants for artists under thirty graduated in BB.AA. between 2012 and 2016 with printmaking experience. They are Laura Bollati and Cara Seccafien.


Member of:

Logo Res Artis
Logotipo Trans artist


 Publications about the Electro-etching Workshop-Residence

• Published in Exhibist Magazine, January 2016. Artist Residencies, A Guide to Established Archetypes & New Paradigms, by Julie Upmeyer and Anna Zizlsperger.

EL TALLER DE ARTE GRÁFICO. Molelos de Espacios de Producción de Arte Gráfico en España 2014. Doctoral thesis by Julia Matute. Universitat Politècnica de Valencia. España. 2015.


© Alfonso Crujera 2014