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Edition 42 of 50
Etching is an intaglio printing process. A metal plate is covered with a protective, acid-resistant wax ground. The artist then draws the image in the wax with a stylus, exposing the metal. The plate is then placed in an acid bath, which corrodes the exposed areas and creates furrows and troughs that will hold the ink. The depth of the etched lines is controlled by the strength of the acid and the amount of time the plate is exposed to it. After the ground is cleaned off, the etched plate is inked and printed. The lines in the image appear where the ink is trapped in the incisions the artist made.
Intanglio is a collective name for the process of printing from an image incised into a plate. In the intaglio process, the entire plate is covered with colour (usually ink) and then wiped clean however the ink remains in the incisions. The plate is then pressed against paper with great pressure and the image is printed where ever the incisions have trapped the ink.