The etching process generally begins with a sheet of metal e.g. copper, aluminum being covered with a wax or acrylic ground. The artist then draws through this layer of ground with a pointed etching needle. Placing the metal sheet in a bath of acid then erodes the exposed lines that have been made. The acid only ‘bites’ into the exposed lines, creating the image for printing. To make the print the metal plate is inked up before the ink on the surface of the plate is wiped off again. This leaves ink only in the lines made by the artist. The plate is then run through a printing press with dampened paper, which absorbs the ink from the plate resulting in the image.

Etching lends itself very well to producing editions of prints e.g. if you see a print with the number 3/10 written in the bottom corner, this means it is the third print produced in an edition of 10.

Etching Etching 2
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