Re: How to store zinc and copper etching plates?


Amy, yes wood backing does change things a little, yes! In my excitement I skimmed over this detail, but I did also have some wood blocks in the collection I was working with as well. It would reason that the wood might support the metal to store the printing blocks in a vertical position, but if you have the space flat storage is best. We do what we can! Regardless what kind of storage system used, the plan should also consider preventing the metal from being scratched, dented, or otherwise banged around in an enclosure.

Helena is quite right about placing the metal side up, and that wood requires a stable RH. To add to this, it would help to unwrap the plates from their manilla envelopes gradually to buffer RH and prevent dimensional changes in the wood block.

Using a dessicant is a fantastic idea (I was also researching Anoxic for my project, but had a lot of organic resins on my plates) but a desiccant does require a sealed container, and some amount of cost and maintenance to replace the sorbent over time.
The concern about using an airtight container is as Helena mentioned, that wood and wood products tend to off-gas organic acids that are corrosive to metal. There is also the question of how the plates have been adhered, possibly with an adhesive? Possible volatiles.

These are interesting posts!

Helena, I love your suggestion about taking photos with raking light. I could have used that on my project!