Making a Print Through the Etching Process
  The Etching Press.
  Weight about 2600 pounds.

Here are some of the tools used in the process of making the plate and printing an etching.

Shown are, left to right; Rosin cloth bag, raw rosin, printing ink, a bottle of ground, burnishing tools metal pic, spatula, pencil and brush.


  Begin with a 16 gauge copper plate. Choose the size and shape to best suit the design or image. The edges of the plate are filed round or beveled, so as to prevent the copper plate from cutting the paper while it is being printed on.

 The surface of the copper plate is thoroughly washed with rubbing alcohol.


The copper plate is then coated with a waxy liquid ground which will harden to a good working surface.

Later in the process, the ground will be marked by the pic to expose the copper for the acid to create the bite.

 On a sheet of tracing paper draw the image or design.

  Place your tracing paper over the copper plate with a sheet of carbon paper between the two.

  With a soft pencil carefully draw over your image on the tracing paper. This process transfer your image onto the ground surface of the copper plate. This will act a guide for drawing on the plate with your steel pic. Once your image is drawn into the ground surface of the plate with the pic, your copper plate can now be placed into an acid bath, to bite the exposed lines exposed by your steel pic.

  When the desired depth of lines are achieved. The plate is cleaned and ink for the first printing.

  This print is called the line print, as it appears as a line drawing.

  Now begins the biting process or rather the process that creates the tones ( dark to light).

  I begin with one point of the image. Perhaps an object in the center or the largest shape in the drawing.

  The shape is cleaned and sprinkled liberally with ground rosin from a small cloth bag.

  The plate is heated until the rosin is melted into tiny bubbles on the surface.

  The plate surface is then blocked out, expect for the aqua tinted area.

  I also block out any area that I want to remain white.

  The plate is placed in the acid bath for several minutes. Two minutes in the acid will result in a light toning colour. next I block out that area and rebite for a darker tone. I continue this process until it is finished.


  The plate is cleaned and printed this is the second printing.

  This printing will show the bite times ratio to tone.

  Light to dark or dark to light.

  This ratio is used as a reference to the entire plate.

  The following plates show the five different biting groups.

  The process of making a plate takes about two weeks and now begins the printing of the edition.

  The plate is reinked for every print,

  If different colours are used, they are applied together in one printing.

  The inked plate is ready to be printed.
  The print being pulled.
  Once a print is pulled ad removed from the press, it is taped down on a drying board. As it was soaked prior to printing (like watercolour painting), the paper would buckle as it dried.

  The finished print.


"Fog Bound on the Great Canadian Highway"