Etching combined with Enamels

Although Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands, the Dutch government has its seat in Den Haag (The Hague). Therefore, all Embassies are based in Den Haag as well. As there are also many large international companies stationed in the town, it will be clear that there is a large contingent of foreigners living over here.  
Confronted with living in a strange country and a new way of life, the expats often flock together, meeting at  their own social clubs and international gatherings.

One of these expatriates, Margaret Kafka, a well-known British artist, realized that - - while she was meeting a large number of other expats at the social functions she went to - - she seldom met anyone who shared her main interest: ART. This made her decide to take an active part in altering this situation and in 1974 she created a meeting place for professional and non-professional artists and art lovers which was open for members of all nations. This club, the INTERNATIONAL ART CLUB  of Den Haag, immediately flourished. Now, 40 years later, the IAC is still very much alive and kicking. I have been a member of this club from the beginning and I have never been bored or disappointed. Becoming an IAC-member proved to be a good decision. It is always exciting to meet - and work with - artists from other countries.

Expats are usually stationed in our country for a limited number of years; new members often bring in new ideas. As a result, there are always ‘fresh winds blowing’… which makes the club very interesting.

When a small group of members decided to form an etching group, I joined in. I had learned the etching technique many years before, but I had never owned my own etching press, so I made good use of the club’s press.

I started etching on zinc, as I had done before, but when my stack of etched zinc plates began to grow, cluttering up the shelves of my studio, I began to think that I might use copper plates instead. This would make it possible to enamel the plates when I had made the number of prints I wanted. It also showed me a new way of making basse-taille or champ-levé work. Thus I returned to my favourite technique: enamelling'.

I was introduced to the technique of polymer etching by Paula van den Elshout, a graphic artist. I used this technique for the following works.

Going on holiday, drawing by Elizabeth Berrington, etched and enamelled detail by Ellen

Donkeys, waiting for their masters

enamelled plate

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