One of the most mysterious, magical and hazardous forms of aquatint is achieved by using rosin dust. Rosin is essentially pine tree pitch. It is ground into a fine dust and applied to a copper intaglio plate using either a rosin box or rosin bag. When using a rosin box, the plate is placed on a grid inside the box and the handle is turned over and over again to create a dust storm of rosin within the box. The result is a fine cover of rosin that is distributed evenly onto the surface of the plate. The plate is then warmed to melt the rosin which will eventually harden to create a resist. The final step is to pop the plate into an acid bath which will etch or "bite" the open areas of the plate.
This concludes this weeks installment of "Adventures in Printmaking". (: