Etchings and Extinct Animals

One of my all-time favorite mediums to work in is etching—the process of taking a metal plate, carving lines into it, then filling the lines with ink to print on paper. It is a lengthy process that can SNAFU at any turn (I have lost 10+ hours of work in a manner of minutes), but it truly is a rewarding, unique medium. My personal inclination is for hard ground etchings, where the image and tone is built up strictly through line.

For my first semester of etching in 2011, I made a series of extinct animal portraits. All of these creatures were alive at some point alongside man, and sadly, some of them were driven to extinction directly by humankind: the last remaining Great Auks were killed specifically to be museum specimens. But, humans didn’t directly kill the dodo—the pigs settlers brought to their island habitats did.

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