Etching Workshop (Process Notes)

Prepping the plate:
File the edges of the plate at 45 degrees down, film side up, on the edge of the table
Burnish edges with oil to polish and smooth
remove white film

De-grease plate:
Place the plate on wood in sink
Sprinkle on whiting (chalk) with some ammonia solution and rub firmly with cloth to create a paste
Rinse under the tap and drain
Blot with newspaper to dry

Putting on grounds:
Place the plate on the hot plate
Use hard ground and rub onto surface
Roll over the surface to get an evenly-coated plate with no marks
Leave to cool
draw in design

Tape the back of the plate with brown tape to stop the solution biting into the back
Use gloves and put plate into copper sulphate solution for 5 mins
Rinse in the water bath and make sure it is indented
Remove the tape from the back and wipe off grounds with white spirit

Printing prep:
Soak paper in water bath for 10 mins (cartridge paper)
Squirt ink onto newspaper (saves cleaning up on glass)
Scrape ink onto plate with card, coat it well
Use a twisting motion with skrin to push ink into the indent
Wipe gently the plate with cleaner piece of skrin
Polish with tissue paper to sharpen the lines
wipe edges with rag and white spirit

Take paper out of water-bath, drain and roll between paper to get more water out
Place newspaper on the press with the paper on top, and trace around edges of paper to create a guide, then remove
Place plate on top, design up and draw around onto newspaper

(Notes Credit to Lauren Marshall)


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