At Sarah Lawrence College Beth Weintraub studied writing, theatrical production and Intaglio etching. She worked for Broadway costume designers painting and dying fabric in New York, then in California at the San Francisco Opera making jewelry, doing leatherwork, sculpting body armor and masks.
Weintraub began working as an artist full time in 1998; etchings became her focus. Utilizing the etched metal as well as the prints, Weintraub showed her clients both
sides of the etching process, selling her plates by commission as well as prints. Rejecting the idea that printing is only for repetitious editions of identical paper
images, she only creates singular prints. The metal plates are all original, hand painted etchings. Photography and digital devices are not used.
Weintraub practices water based printmaking processes as well. She creates monoprints made from a series of silkscreened layers of ink. Each screen image is
made from a paper cut-out, using only scissors, giving the body of work a distinctive feel. The hard edges and flat depth often found with silkscreen appear softened and
enriched by her use of gradient color application.
Fiction: These hexagonal works are the result of Weintraub’s interest in writing science fiction. The interlocking shapes and glyph-like imagery were generated to inspire the artist’s writing and vice versa. Working simultaneously on both projects, the two
practices evolved together. The multi layered images developed into abstract symbols, almost in place of language. There is no digital technology used, all inks are mixed and printed by hand. Finished works are cut, folded and adhered to the hexagonal panel. They are sealed and UV resistant.
Fungi: Intaglio etching uses acid to etch images onto metal. Ground is applied to freshly polished metal with a brush, after which the plate is immersed in acid. This is
called an aquatint. Areas exposed to acid are eaten away, creating pitted areas and deep lines. Ink is then worked into the etched areas to print the plate. Etched plates are rarely shown as finished art. Weintraub makes her plates so that they develop a contrasting patina. Plates are cleaned and polished to bring out the patina. After this treatment, they are no longer usable as printing plates. Etchings on paper are a mirror image of the plate. Ink is worked into the recesses etched by the acid and a second color is rolled on over the top. Then the paper and plate are rolled through a hand crank printing press to make a singular print.
See more of Beth's work at her website!