What is Etching?
To begin, an image is etched into a plate (typically copper or zinc) using a variety of techniques. One essential technique includes covering the plate with a thin waxy coating and then drawing into the coating with a needle to expose the metal. The plate is then immersed in ferric chloride, which eats away the exposed line work, leaving etched lines. Once the plate is set with the etching....
Ink is applied to the plate and wiped away leaving ink in the etched lines and distributed on the plate surface.
Printmaking paper is aligned over the plate on the bed of the artist’s press.
The press blankets are laid over the paper and plate.
The crank is turned to roll the press bed under the drum.
Under the pressure of the drum, the image is transferred from the plate to the paper.
Hot off the press…
*Color is added separately through a couple of different processes.