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Jos WM van der Meer
 Artist | Birds 
Colour Printmaker


the making of the Seriema etching

Jos prefers using intaglio printmaking techniques (i.e., the printmaking method, in which the image is incised into a surface and the incised, sunken holds the ink). He will first make a drawing, which he transfers onto a zinc plate. Usually, the contour of the figure will be jig sawed, after which the plate is covered with wax. He then engraves the detailed drawing in the wax, after which the plate will be immersed into a copper sulphate bath. After that he will apply the aquatint technique, using spray paint followed by etching, to obtain areas on the plate with different tones.


He usually prints in a single run. He mostly uses the so-called “à la poupée” technique to make multi-coloured prints, whereby ink of various colours are applied onto the plate.


By choosing different colours, prints with a different appearance can be obtained.

Seriemas belong to the small bird family Cariamidae. They are long-legged birds that measure between 70 to 90 cm. They have their territory on plain land, like grassland, savanna and open forest in South America. Apart form the red-legged seriema (Cariama cristata) which inspired me, there is also a black-legged seriema (Chunga burmeisteri). Names for these birds in the native languages may be spelled as siriema, sariama, and çariama (meaning "crested").

Process in 9 stages

Seriema jigsawed.jpeg

1. Jigsawed

seriema waxed & drawn.jpeg

2. Waxed and drawn

Seriema waxed & drawn(detail0.jpeg

3. Waxed and drawn (detail)

Seriema etching (coppersulphate).jpeg

4. Etching coppersulphate

Seriema Aquatint.jpeg

5. Aquatint

Seriema etching aquatint.jpeg

6. Etching aquatint

Seriema plate ready.jpeg

7. Plate ready

8. Seriema plate with ink  a la poupée 2.jpeg

8. With ink applied
"à la poupée"

Seriema print.jpeg

9. Print 2023

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