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How to make an etching

Back in March I wrote about my wonderful teacher, Roberto DeLamonica, and at the end I included how to make an etching, but did I tell you everything that goes into making an etching?


Take a metal PLATE

A brass plate for etching

Do a better preparation job than I've done here. That means, file all the edges and bevel the corners. Sand both sides, top and bottom, with #500 sandpaper and water.

Choose the better side and sand that with #600 sandpaper and water. Wash and dry. Put a small amount of talcom powder in the middle of the plate, press with finger, fill the hole with alcohol, mix until a paste is formed, and rub it all over the plate.

Wash the plate and dry carefully, being careful not to touch the surface, as the ground will not adhere to any grease.

Cover the plate with acid-resistant GROUND, a mixture of beeswax, asphaltum, and rosin

Wrap a wad of ground in taffeta, place the plate on a heater and, as the ground melts on the hot platespread it evenly around the plate with the Dauber,

etching, dauber

which you've already made.

Scratch your image with a sharp needle, exposing the metal.

Remember that the image will be the mirror of the plate.

Etching plate

Place the plate in ACID which will eat away (etch) the exposed metal.

Remove the ground from the plate with SOLVENT. (Be sure to rinse off the acid first.)

Etching plate

Now you're ready to print. Rub INK onto the plated with a stiff piece of cardboard, being sure it gets into all the etched lines, then wipe it off with a piece of tarletan, leaving it in the etched lines.

Place the plate face up on a sheet of newsprint on the bed of an ETCHING PRESS, place a piece of ETCHING PAPER over it and a FELT BLANKET over that. Because your hands will be full of ink, do not touch the paper--rather, take two pieces of newsprint and hold them between your fingers and the paper. Run it through the press.

Now you're ready to see your etching.

This is the nerve-racking part because so much can go wrong, despite all your hard work. Are the lines in the plate deep enough? If not, your image will be faint. Did you wipe off enough ink or too much? Is the paper too dry? It may not pick up the ink. Too wet? It may stick to the plate.

Keep your courage up.

Pull the paper off and admire your ETCHING.

Finished Etching titled Everything

August 06, 2020

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