PROCESS OF ETCH WORK
I cut down my brass piece to the size I wanted. This was down with a dremel. I then scrubbed the plate to become as clean as I could. This gets the grease and dirt of the surface so your image sticks better.
With my OHT print, I secured the print to the piece of brass on one side. This was done so the piece would not move and smudge during the ironing process. At the hottest heat, the iron was pressed firm to the back of the brass for around 20 seconds, or until hot. The plate was flipped back to the front, a piece of paper was placed over it and the iron was again pressed firm down, while moving for around 1 minute. This fused the black ink onto the brass plate.
This is the outcome after the ironing process. Very hot! If the image didn’t work as nicely as I wanted it to, the ink was scrubbed off and everything was then repeated again.
If the image came out with some patches where the ink did not fuse, a sharpie was used to fill in the gaps.
The plates were then placed into a hot chemical solution bath. This is where the etching process starts. The solution eats away at the parts of the plate where the black ink is not located. This process took around 20-30 minutes. I noted that the hotter the solution, the more the images gets etched.
Once I was happy with the etched image, I placed the plates under running water, rinsing off the chemicals and scrubbed away at the plate until all the ink was removed.
Unfortunately I forgot to take a photo of the finished assembled piece. I had 5 face plates that lay on a board covered with hessian sack material. I also added a two reference maps. One was an image of Africa with Egypt marked out. The second was a zoomed in image of the historical map, land growth of Port Said itself.
IDEA BEHIND ETCHED PIECES
The way in which Port Said has been governed, designed and developed has been done by the influences and actions of a variety of people.
For the last 30 years, Port Said has been striving for its identity on the map. The first colonials to inhabit the city, in the 1860s, designed buildings with projected and steel balustrades which reflected the cultural bases of colonial architecture. These buildings were designed for human use and were socially preferred, at the time, as well as climatically suitable. Mixes of Colonial and Arab designs then started to be developed. These designs involved sets of architectural references and fragments of various historical styles. These architectural styles were immediately undercut by the accompany loss of any cultural meaning directly relevant to the lives of the urban population.
In 1922, Egypt declared independent from Britain. This national Egyptian epoch caused tensions within the city of Port Said. From this a revolution started.
The city became a symbol of anti-Europeanism, and denounced its centuries of Colonial History.
Attempts to revive the city after its partial destruction in the wars of 1956, 1967 and 1973 were not completely successful. This resulted in a loss of much of Port Said’s collective memory as a colonial city and spaces did not adapt to the nationalist era.
Today, NGOs and activists are in protest to save the historical architecture and heritage of Port Said. Investors and building developers are now buying up buildings and blocks of the city to demolish and replace with quick to build developments that can create a higher income return fast.
With the demolishing of the heritage buildings of Port Said, one is also demolishing the identity and history of the city. Once claimed to be the most orderly and beautiful cities of Egypt, Port Said is now a mishandled city, quickly losing its once prosperous identity.
What Port Said was and what Port Said is, has been designed and developed by the influences and actions of people.