Etching is one of the oldest and most traditional methods of producing Intaglio type prints. As the name suggests the image is formed by using the chemical reaction of acids on copper to erode the surface of the plate. A simple example is the age old technique of Hard-ground which involves covering the whole surface of the plate with a waxy, bituminous layer that resists the acid. The artist will then draw into the ground using a special needle, thus exposing the copper beneath.

When the plate is then submerged in a bath of acid, the acid will bite into the copper where it has been exposed and create the furrow which will hold the ink.

Example of a hard-ground etching
Paul Noble
‘Noband’ 2004

Paul Noble - Noband
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