Etching weekend with copper and aquatint

3rd & 4th February (10am-4pm)
Workshop fee: £165

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Etching is an Intaglio printmaking technique along with Engraving and Collagraph. Intaglio means ‘to engrave’ or ‘cut into’ and etching uses metal plates such as copper, zinc and aluminium for making prints. The image is created by an etchant that bites into these metals.

Over the weekend, you will learn the basic hard-ground etching process and aquatint using A6 copper plate. You will prepare and etch the plate on the first day and the aquatint is applied on the next day to add different tones to the same image.

Day 1: Hard-ground etching

The plate is protected by a thin layer of resistant substance called ‘ground’ which is applied on to the plate and baked, making a hard-ground (Since I became Artist-in-Residence at Ochre Print Studio in Guildford, I have used B.I.G ground as it is non-toxic and more versatile).

Hard-ground is the most straightforward etching technique with results similar to pen drawings. A fine pointed tool like an etching needle is used to scratch the plate and remove the ground. When the plate is immersed in the etchant, only the area of the metal that is exposed will be etched. The depth of the line is controlled by the length of immersion in the etchant.

Etching Etching

Day 2: Aquatint

Aquatint can create a watercolour quality by spraying porous ground (small fine dots of etchant resistant) on to the metal plate, making a fine halftone plate. A variety of tones can be achieved from the lightest grey to the deepest black by the length of immersion in the etchant.

Etching Etching