WHAT IS AN ETCHING?
Essentially an ETCHING is a hand-made print. First a sheet or PLATE of, usually copper or zinc, is prepared and covered with a thin layer of an acid-resistant GROUND. Then the image is drawn into this ground using an ETCHING NEEDLE. When the drawing is finished the plate is put into an ACID-BATH. The acid eats at the plate where it has been exposed by the drawn lines. The length of time the plate is in the acid determins the depth of line and eventually how dark or light the image is. Once the etching process is complete the plate is cleaned of all the "grounds" and is then ready to print from. The Plate is INKED-UP so that the ink goes into all the lines and then the surface is wiped clean. Now the plate is put onto the bed of a press, a sheet of damp paper is placed on top and the whole lot is rolled through. The paper is peeled off and you have your ETCHING. To make another copy, the plate has to be inked-up again and the process repeated with another sheet of paper. It is traditional to limit the EDITION, so each print is numbered (bottom left side, under image) and signed by the artist (bottom right side).