Authentic American Art
Etchings are classified by the general term intaglio, an Italian word meaning "to cut in to."   A copper or zinc plate is coated with an acid resistant ground of asphaltum.   After the asphaltum dries, a stylus is used to remove the ground one line at a time.

Other methods include dusting the surface of the plate with powered rosin and then melting it just enough so that tiny beads are formed.   The "free" areas between these beads are exposed metal.   Immersion in an acid bath "bites" the image into the plate.   Biting is controlled through the use of stop-out varnish.

After the initial bite, the plate is cleaned of its ground and then inked with a roller called a brayer.   A squeegee is used to remove all excess ink on the plate.   Final wiping involves the use of cheesecloth, and in some cases tissue paper may be used for delicate areas.

The plate is then placed on the bed of a double roller style etching press and hand pulled on 100% rag paper.   All etchings are limited edition by necessity.   The tremendous pressure exerted by a press on the relatively soft copper plate tends to flatten or squeeze the etched areas back upon themselves, and they no longer accept ink.



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