George Raab is one of the most highly regarded print makers in North America. His dramatic etchings of the Canadian wilderness have won him numerous awards and inclusion in over one hundred principal collections worldwide, as well as numerous private and public collections throughout Europe, Asia, and North America. I had the honor of photographing George in his Millbrook, Ontario studio over the Christmas holiday.
Unlike my own process (which is nearly 100% digital), George relies on printing techniques that date back to the 16th century. As I understand it, the process involves enlarging black and white negatives onto litho film and then etching the images onto zinc plates using an acid bath. The acid “bites” into the plate creating lines and texture – the length of the acid bath determines the depth of the bite; the depth of the bite determines how much ink the plate will hold; and the amount of ink determines the tonal range of the resulting print. George inks each plate and then “stamps” the image onto fine rag paper using a large manual etching press. Each print is hand colored giving it a truly unique and subtle beauty.
George Raab’s work and exhibition schedule can be seen on his website – http://www.georgeraab.com