ABOUT THE ARTIST’S ETCHINGS -- DiFalco first creates a number of original drawings, which are usually based upon photographic images that he finds via research into university, library, or historical archives. He presents here some details about the ETCHING process, in order to explain to you about the complexities and time consumed in creating an etching. I work on a metal etching plate, usually zinc, and begin by filing its sides and corners to forty-five degree angles the tool used for this is called a flat, metal bastard file. My plate is then cleaned of all dirt and grease and next, it is coated with a liquid or ball ground composed of mineral spirits and beeswax, which dries for a period of at least eight hours. I then “draw” into the ground with various tools, including needles. My next step involves placing the zinc plate, which now contains lines and other exposed metal areas, into a bath of spring water and Nitric acid. This intaglio process lasts for a period of seconds to minutes, before the plate is then removed from the acid and rinsed with tap water. Turpentine and alcohol are then applied to the plate to remove the ground, thereby exposing the “etched” areas and lines. The plate is ten washed and coated again with a ground for the next working. Shaded areas can be created through the AQUATINT process, which uses pulverized resin crystals. The acid bath again reworks the plate, which is again cleaned, and reworked. If I wish, an etching needle may be used to draw directly onto the ungrounded plate. This process can contain many more steps and tools, depending upon what the artist desires. After several re-workings, the plate is then applied with etching ink and wiped before it is run through the printing press. This particular etching was created with the studio techniques of aquatint, intaglio, drypoint, and Chine colle. The zinc etching plate measured ten inches high by eight inches wide, which is consequently the image size. French, oil base ink was used, as well as RivesBFK white printmaking paper. The print size measures about fifteen inches by eighteen inches high. This hand-pulled print required a total of eight individual baths in Nitric acid for me to achieve the final design. I first created two original drawings from which to work, and based these drawings on a 1948 photograph from the Free Library of Philadelphia’s digital collection. This photo was taken in Philadelphia’s Chinatown by the firm of Parker Mullikin and features The South China Restaurant at 913 Race Street. The work features the SECOND EDITION of FIVE EDITIONS moreover, each of the FIVE editions are limited to only four hand-pulled etchings. Each of the five editions are executed indifferent ink colors therefore only a total number of twenty etchings in four groups of five different colors exist. Entitled “WATER DRAGON MOON, CHINATOWN, 1948”, the print shows the artist’s expert use of balancing light and shadow, as well as his skill in creating visual illusions through line-work. The moon and sidewalk colored orange and pink respectfully was created via the Chine colle process. This technique uses mulberry bark paper and is explained in detail later. The artwork comes complete with an archival mat and painted wood frame that measures twenty-eight inches high by twenty-two inches wide. A protective, brown paper frame backing is glued securely to the work. The price also includes the shipment carton, all protective and weatherproofing packing materials, and a Certificate of Authenticity signed by the artist. DiFalco used an industrial size, floor model Brand printing press, manufactured in New York City. He completed this Second Edition at The Center for Works on Paper in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, associated with the Fleisher Art School’s Open Printmaking Studio for Professional Artists.
Chinatown, Red, Intaglio, Aquatint, Mulberry Bark Paper, 1948, Photographic, Kozo Threads, Original Printmaking, Landmarks Printmaking