About etchings

About etchings


What is an original etching?

An original etching is a print, taken from a copper plate made by the artist and printed by, or under the supervision of the artist. Each print is individually signed and numbered in pencil; the larger number refers to the size of the whole edition. “Artist’s Proofs” are a small proportion of the total number and are extra to the edition.


The copper plate is covered with a ground of wax, through which the design can be freely drawn with the etching needle. When immersed in acid the lines of the design are bitten into the surface of the plate, the rest of the plate being protected by the acid resistant ground. The ground is the washed off, and the plate printed; that is, the lines filled with ink, the surface cleaned and impression made by forcing dampened paper into these incisions in a rolling press (like a mangle).


Aquatint – the method for creating tone

IMG_3130Resin is powdered on the surface of the copper plate and when warmed, fuses to the plate in a fine granular screen. The parts not to be bitten are protected by resistant varnish, and the plate etched; further stopping out with varnish, and further etching results in, when the plate is cleaned and printed, a range of tones, varying in strength in proportion to the length of time etched.