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PRINTMAKING TECHNIQUES

Etching . Drypoint . Monotype . Relief Printing . Collograph

The term INTAGLIO can be applied to a range of printmaking methods such as ETCHING, DRYPOINT, ENGRAVING, CARBORUNDUM and COLLOGRAPH.

In ETCHING a resin or other acid resistant ground is applied to a metal plate, usually copper or zinc though steel and aluminium can be used. Lines or marks are made in the ground using a pointed tool or solvents.etching
These lines or marks are bitten in a bath of acid for an appropriate amount of time before the ground is removed and the plate is ready for printing. Tone can be successfully achieved using spray paint to produce an aquatint. Nitric Acid and Copper Sulphate are used in my studio. There is an acid booth with an extractor for all solvents. No etching technique is completely fume free so all users of my studio are expected to use the booth with masks and gloves even when using ‘non toxic’ methods.

In DRYPOINT or ENGRAVING, marks are made directly into the plate with a sharp etching tool or diamond point before being printed and no acid is needed. This technique requires a firm and controlled hand to produce a ‘burred line’ which holds the ink when the plate is wiped. Metal, acrylic or shiny card plates can be used with a range of results being achieved. Drypoint marks can be combined with etched marks on metal plates.

relief etching RELIEF PRINTING when using metal plates involves drawing on the plate with an acid resistant material such as a litho crayon. The acid bites around the drawn marks to create a textured and expressive drawn mark on the plate which is then printed using the intaglio method. Collage blocks can also be made for the purpose of rolling colour as opposed to inking in the intaglio method as in collographs.

In CARBONUNDUM COLLOGRAPH or COLLOGRAPH PRINTINGthe matrix is often a piece of card though I often recycle metal plates for this technique. A range of collage and textured materials can be employed from anaglypta wallpapers to polyfilla.
Blue Collograph There is no limit to the variety of materials as long as the levels are not too different on the plate and that they can stick well. Materials are fixed to the plate with strong glue and then varnished to create a hard but textured surface for printing. Etching and collograph processes lend themselves to expressive mark making and the plates work well if printed using viscosity colour printing methods which involves mixing the different colours with different oils so that the colours resist one another on the plate.

monotypeMONOTYPE in its simplest form requires a layer of ink rolled thinly upon a glass or Perspex sheet. Paper is laid gently down on the ink and without pressing the paper with your hand marks can be made with a pen or hard pencil to achieve a beautiful line drawing which will be a reverse image when the paper is removed from the ink. Metal and Perspex sheets can be used in the reductive and additive methods, whereby you can paint with inks or oil paints directly on to the plate or use rags and solvent to remove marks as you wish before taking the image through a press on dampened paper. The image can be worked and reworked to develop prints which are ‘similar but not the same’.

For more information contact Sandra