Introduction to Etching

November 1, 2015 @ 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
AS220 Printshop
Lucie Way
Providence, RI 02903
Brian Whitney

Sundays, February 14, 21; 10am-2pm: $140
Register here:

 “Aquatint, if deeply bitten, looks like velvet when printed, but if lightly bitten it looks like watercolor.” –Crown Point Press

This two day intermediate class is for those with prior acid etching experience interested in various rosin-based techniques, which create full tonal range on copper plates. We will etch plates at varying depths through painterly and photographic approaches to step bite, spit bite, soap ground, and sugar lift. Each class day will be divided into half process demo and half studio time where the students can work with the instructor on specific projects.

Instructor: Carey Good

Prerequisite: Intro to Etching or portfolio/process review with instructor 

Instructor’s mission:
To open etchers to the expressive mark-making and tonal quality of aquatint etching and to leave each student with the ability to make a single plate etching that holds a full range of values.

Class Breakdown
Day 1 – aquatint application, step bite, printing
+ Safe application and handling of rosin and acid will be thoroughly covered
+ Step bite tonal etching – etching plates with specific flats of tone by periodically removing the plate from acid and applying more ground
+ Specifics of wiping and printing aquatinted plates

Day 2 – spit bite, soap ground, sugar lift
+ Spite bite – painting with ferric chloride acid to create washy marks similar to a watercolor look
+ Soap ground aka white ground – malleable acid resist which protects the plate depending on the thickness of it’s application, essentially working in white against black
+ Sugar lift – painting with sugary compounds which act as flat stencils underneath grounds, they literally lift the ground away when submerged in warm water revealing large areas of clean copper to be aquatinted and etched

Required Supplies
+ 18 ga copper plates, either clean or with existing line etch
+ Disposable paint brushes
+ Reusable rubber gloves
+ Two sheets of paper BFK Rives ( Utrecht, Jerry’s, Paperworks, RISD Store)
+ Medium etching needle, or RISD Store Utrecht
+ Drypoint scribe, Utrecht or RISD Store
+ Scraper, Utrecht or RISD Store
+ Burnisher (we prefer curved) Utrecht or RISD Store