Sababu, 2011  12" x 18" copperplate engraving
       
     
Suki, 2012 12" x 18" copperplate engraving
       
     
Barus, 2012 12" x 18" copperplate engraving
       
     
Sababu, 2011  12" x 18" copperplate engraving
       
     
Sababu, 2011 12" x 18" copperplate engraving

This engraving, based on a photograph I took of an African Black Rhinoceros in the San Antonio Zoo, began its life as an etching, which I failed to leave in the ferric chloride long enough to bite correctly.  I took out my old engraving tools to deepen the lines, and the etching became an engraving.  I had never undertaken an engraving of this size and so it was largely an experiment in how to "code" the complex textures of the rhino's hide into feathered sweeps and cross-hatchings.  My efforts went on for about 4 months and this plate is the result, representing my return to the art of engraving after a hiatus of 30 years.

Suki, 2012 12" x 18" copperplate engraving
       
     
Suki, 2012 12" x 18" copperplate engraving

Suki is a female gorilla in the collection of the Bronx Zoo.  I had no idea what the gender or the name of this animal was until well after I had completed the engraving, when I revisited the zoo and incorrectly deduced the name from examining the displays in the viewing area.  I presented a framed copy of this print bearing the wrong name to Colleen McCann, the Director of Mammals at the zoo.  After circulating my original pictures among the keepers, she identified the subject as Suki.

Barus, 2012 12" x 18" copperplate engraving
       
     
Barus, 2012 12" x 18" copperplate engraving

This engraving is based on a photograph I took of a male Sumatran tiger in the zoo in Barcelona.  My identification of the animal as Barus is based on my examination of photographs taken by others, as well as information posted on the zoo's website.