David Barthold

Barus, 2012, 12 x 18 inches, copperplate engraving.

Barus, 2012, 12 x 18 inches, copperplate engraving.

David Barthold emailed a while back with an image and brief intro. It was interesting enough that we asked him to send more pictures and words. Here’s what he sent…

I joined Gowanus Studio Space in Brooklyn in 2010 and began making prints again after a 30 year hiatus.  A few months in, having badly underbitten the first state of a large etching depicting the head and shoulders of a rhinoceros, I took out my old engraving tools and started to reinforce the faint lines.  I found the results much more satisfying than etching, and completed the plate as an engraving in approximately four months. The result is Sababu, named after the zoo animal on which the image is based.  

I had done some engraving in college, but had only a dim memory of how to handle a burin or organize a large image after such a long time away from this discipline, so much of the line work on Sababu is experimental.  It’s more a fantasy than a taxonomic illustration.  There was a substantial amount of scraping and burnishing along the way.

I struggled through several other large pieces such as Suki and Barus and, with the help of Julia Samuels and Rachel Ostrow, learned how to print an engraving properly.
I’m presently working up a project to produce a monumental, 55” x 32” engraving of the full body of an African Black Rhinoceros.  I’m planning to invest in a pneumatic graver, a kind of piston-driven burin, to move the work along at a reasonable pace.  I see great possibilities in working with engraving at this scale.

I’d like to give posthumous thanks to Prof. Paul Arnold of Oberlin College, for encouraging me to first pick up the burin in 1978.  He just sat me down one day and showed me how to do it.  I’m told he had one of my early proofs of Sababu hanging in his bedroom when he passed away in July of 2012.

-David Barthold
Brooklyn, New York

Detail of engraved plate for 'Sababu' (ear)

Detail of engraved plate for ‘Sababu’ (ear).

Suki, 2012  12 x 18 inches  copperplate engrving

Suki, 2012 12 x 18 inches copperplate engraving.

Detail of engraved plate for 'Suki'

Detail of engraved plate for ‘Suki’.

Detail of engraved  plate for 'Suki'

Detail of engraved plate for ‘Suki’.

Head of Rhinoceros, 2014  5 x 6 inches  copperplate engraving

Head of Rhinoceros, 2014 5 x 6 inches copperplate engraving.

Rhinoceros, 2014  5 x 8 inches  copperplate engraving

Rhinoceros, 2014 5 x 8 inches copperplate engraving.

Sababu, 2011      12 x 18 inches  copperplate engraving

Sababu, 2011, 12 x 18 inches, copperplate engraving.

Detail of engraved  plate for 'Sababu' (horn)

Detail of engraved plate for ‘Sababu’ (horn).

Detail of engraved  plate for 'Sababu'

Detail of engraved plate for ‘Sababu’.

Operating the Wepplo Press at Gowanus Studio Space

David Barthold operating the Wepplo Press at Gowanus Studio Space.

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Categories: Artists


6 Responses to “David Barthold”

  1. Marchelo says:

    These are pretty amazing!

  2. Ruth Leaf says:

    yourenravvings are beautiful.

    ruth

  3. Ruth Leaf, who left the generous comment above, is my original printmaking teacher. I was introduced to intaglio at her storefront studio in Douglaston, Queens in 1974. I was 13 at the time and Ruth made an exception to her rule of only accepting adult students.

    Thank you, Ruth!

  4. Linda Lando says:

    The copper plate details are exquisite!

  5. Donnabeth Mitchell says:

    These are all just stunningly beautiful; the prints and the plates as well! It feels as though you know each of these animals personally.