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THE ETCHING PROCESS In etching, a metal plate (zinc or copper) is covered with a resinous ground resistant to acid. The artist draws through the ground with a needle or other implement. The plate is then immersed in an acid bath which eats away the exposed lines. Variation in tone can be achieved by etching different areas for different lengths of time, or by a process known as aquatint. An image can also be painted on a plate with a liquid ground, leaving whole areas exposed to the acid. To print, the ground is first cleaned off with solvent. Ink is forced into the etched areas and surface ink is wiped off. This process is also called intaglio. The plate is put on the press face up and covered with a damp 100% rag paper. Felt blankets are placed on top and the plate is run through the press. This procedure must be repeated for each print. Color etchings can be done in several ways. Barbara Garrison prints with burnt umber ink and then applies watercolor washes to each individual print. When dry, the prints are numbered and signed in pencil. When the edition is finished, the plate is canceled.
THE COLLAGRAPHIC PROCESS The word collagraph is made up of collage and graphic. Barbara Garrison begins her collagraphs with a heavy piece of cardboard. Additional pieces of mat board, paper, fabric, tape, string, etc. are glued on to the cardboard plate. Areas of the cardboard may be cut and peeled away. Gesso is painted over the entire area and carborundum, glitter or sand may be added for additional texture. Several coats of acrylic medium are applied and allowed to dry thoroughly. Barbara Garrison prints her collagraphs "intaglio" in the same manner as her etchings and then adds watercolor washes. However collagraph plates are very fragile and therefore the editions are very small.