First, a bit of history. Longer ago than I dare to admit, I made two engravings, Terrace Hill with Moose, and Terrace Hill with Bengal Tiger and Raccoons, illustrated here (both 17 x 14") to benefit the restoration of Terrace Hill, an amazing Victorian-era mansion that had recently been acquired by the state of Iowa for the governor's residence. The animal fantasies came out of the history of the house - hunting trophies, a tiger skin rug, the Raccoon River that flows behind. The two editions of 100 impressions each sold out almost immediately and are sought-after. Last year I was invited by the Terrace Hill Foundation to return to the scene and create a new engraving. I was intrigued by the challenge of creating something new that could complement two engravings made nearly 29 years ago, but were true to what my work is like today. So last month while I was in Des Moines, I made new drawings in the mansion (see recent posts). The Terrace Hill Foundation selected my drawings of the library and the peacock as the subject of my engraving.
During the last two weeks I have been redrawing and preparing the image for transfer to the plate. The transfer drawing is in 6B pencil on tracing paper. Today I printed the transfer onto the copper plate, which I had beveled and coated with white wax a few days ago. So now the graphite is printed in reverse on the wax-coated plate.
I will begin to drypoint the image, and when the major outlines of the composition are incised in drypoint, I will remove the wax and begin to engrave with the burin.