Intaglio Printmaking Tools: Burins : Sharpening a Burin With a Small Jig

Intaglio Printmaking Tools: Burins : Sharpening a Burin With a Small Jig


I’m Jason Shoemaker at SlugFest Print Making
workshop and we’re still sharpening burins. This time we’re going to use this smaller
jig here. This one’s a little simpler than the crocker jig. Basically, you’re going to
stick the burin in there, make sure the face is level with the sharpening stone. Get a
little bit of three in one oil on there, doesn’t take much. This is just the back and forth,
very simple. You can check the face and once the face, if you point it up to the light,
it should be even. If there are any hot spots or dull spots, you’re going to need to keep
sharpening the face, until all that is even. That means that there’s high or low spots
in the face. Once your face is good, you need to sharpen the runner, which is these lines
here. The idea is to have a nice crisp line. If you hold it up to the light you’ll notice
that there’s a shadow on one side and they’ll be light on the other. If you see any light
on the shadow side, that means that the runner is uneven. You want to be standing up to do
this. Put the runner down on the sharpening zone and press down. The reason to stand up
is because you have the downward motion, if you’re sitting down you tend to want to lift
the burin or not have complete downward force. What can happen is, not so much on the bigger
burins, especially on the smaller ones with the smaller runners on there, is it can start
to tilt and you won’t have a sharp edge anymore. So, stand up, runner down, and it’s just back
and forth and then you just want to rock it over to the other side and the same thing.
Hold it up to the light, make sure it’s nice and crisp and there’s no hot spots and you
should be good.

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