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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.


Large Etchings

Small Etchings A

Small Etchings B


(click the plate to see the finished etching)

All information and artwork is copyright 1978 - 2013 Barbara Garrison. All Rights Reserved.