Etching Basics

Etching Basics


10:00 am - 1:00 pm



Wivenhoe Printshop
23/24 Wivenhoe Business Centre, Colchester, Essex, CO7 9DP

Event Type

Etching is the process of engraving lines and tones into hard (often metal) printing plates and the use of these to make richly varied prints which employ a wide range of tone and texture available when highly pigmented inks are printed at high pressure onto fine papers.

Etching has been a traditional practice going back to the printers and artists of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. It is also a set of techniques which modern artists continue to explore and develop. Metal etching traditionally used highly dangerous chemicals like Nitric Acid to bite texture deep into copper and steel plates.

Because of these corrosive chemicals, etching has been an area of printmaking that we have steered away from for environmental and safety reasons. So we were very excited to discover that over the last few years modern artist print-makers have been exploring new fusions of chemistry and art to promote the use of non-hazardous etching processes which can nevertheless deliver very fine quality results without danger to people or the environment.

One such artist-printmaker is Kit Leese, a founder member of the well-respected ’12PM’ group (twelve printmakers). Kit has a background not only in visual art but also in environmental resource management, a keen painter of East Anglian scenes with a professional as well as an artistic interest in waterscape and the waterside environment.

In this basics session Kit will show you the range of textures and tones that can be achieved through the use of grounds and etches for metal plates. He will also demonstrate how to prepare, scribe and etch a copper plate using low toxicity Ferric Chloride solutions, and the resulting qualities when printed using our large etching press.


Bookings are closed for this event.

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