My Forum

Over the last couple of weeks, my forum has been overloaded with member registrations, which tend to be spams and introduction to porn sites and the like. Only a few actually post articles and links in the message, so most just join and do nothing. From their origins and funny names, they certainly seem to be computer generated messages that seek out places to invade. I have been spending a lot of time trying to delete the offending messages and don’t know why these people have been able to get by the registration requirements. My IT expert says the guests are actually being presented by a robot computer as we watched one trying to join after he blocked all registrations. That seems to be the only way to keep these machine generated spams off my forum, which also prevents legitimate printmakers from joining. He says that they have been able to get passed my service provider, who uses an older version of program, so the spamers have found a flaw they are exploiting for that version. WordPress works as planned and I will have to change my provider as my contract gets close to expiring.

We have left all the previous messages on the forums for other visitors to read, but if someone wants to join in, they will have to send me an e-mail message at,  asking for permission to join. I will also monitor the forum for those wishing to register as the software has an in-box for that.

This is the second time a forum of mine that has been destroyed by spamers and the likes, which is too bad as there have been other excellent forums that have shut down for the same reason. Maybe there are too many outlets for printmakers on other forums and discussion groups, so that is the reason mine was not that active. Is it because the processes are too new for the print community?

Recently I have purchased six books published in the last couple years, and only two had any information on my innovations. Dr. Michael Mc Canns’ 6th update to “Artist Beware” had recommended my processes for their safety, but nothing on how to use the materials. The other book has a sentence or two on toner and a paragraph on copper sulfate mordant, but giving credit to others. So it goes.

I hope that somehow we can overcome this problem and if there is enough interest, the IT expert and I will try to get things going again.


  1. 1
    Gary Thibeau Says:

    Dear Nick, thanks for all your research, in non-toxic print-making.
    I generally make etchings on iron plates with sulphate mordant.
    (sulphate + common salt ) I have found a formula in a Manuel Roret called L’art de la gravure 1865
    for biting iron plates:
    sel marin 15 grammes (Na Cl)
    sulfate de cuivre 60
    mouiller de vinaigre (acetic acid)
    I don’t how it works but it seems that it is not extremly toxic
    What do you think of that?

    gary thibeau

  2. 2
    Nik Semenoff Says:

    Hi Gary:
    The old formula certainly looks very safe and maybe safer than the copper sulfate mordant. I presume “cuivre” must be copper; my high school french is not of much use. I wonder if it would regenerate like the cupric chloride baths?

    In my library I have many old books on some subjects, and printmaking is most important. But in a very old 900 yellowed page book on general subjects, I found two formula about the same as yours, but both called for a few drops of nitric acid. A lot of interesting ways to corrode metals and some extremely dangerous even for those days. It looks like many chemical discoveries and uses were found many years ago and only digital electronics is completely new. I believe the regeneration of a bath is very important for a number of reasons that should make the new process important. It would be interesting to try the old one in comparison to acids and cupric chloride.

    Thanks for getting a comment on the forum.

    Nik Semenoff

  3. 3
    oxleyart Says:

    Hello Nik,
    it seems there is a parallel in what you are doing and my own experience re sharing knowledge about painting and drawing and sculpture. For example, I believe my 12 yr. grandson is very creative and talented but I am also respectful of the fragility of that talent. It is connected to his emotions and a lot of deeper aspects of his “being” than I can ever understand. In response to his mother asking me to “teach” him how to become an artist, I put it to him and his mother that I am available whenever he wishes to discuss anything about art or the craft of creating an artwork. I have already provided him with numerous books on the subject. So far I have not been asked one question. He is keen to show me his latest creation, but there is no apparent wish on his part to have any discussion on the work, He is showing it to me because he is satisfied with it himself and my approval is all he seeks at that point.
    Perhaps that is what the blogs need. A format on which to show what they have done rather than talk about it. From that, maybe it would then stimulate a discussion from others interacting with the visible blog?.
    Perhaps there is a similarity with bloggers. There is an enormous array of information out there. As you said yourself, a lot of your hard-won information given freely is re-presented by others as their own idea. Perhaps others jealously guard the information they gain and keep it to themselves instead of passing it around to others. Many times I have witnessed students attending a few workshops setting themselves up as “instant experts”, advertising classes in some subject they know very little about. I have never blogged on your site, but that does not mean I have not used it and gained from it enormously. I have been lax in showing my appreciation , but accept these words acknowledging the value of your information to make amends.
    Regards, Kevin Oxley

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