Etchings and Dry Point

Etching and drypoint are a form of Intaglio, where an image is cut into a surface. Marie completed an etching course in 2017 with Leicester Print Workshop, which was based on traditional methods. However, to work at home, she uses less toxic materials.  This involves coating aluminium or zinc plates with Andrew Baldwin’s Ink Ground (BIG) . This ground is rolled on and briefly cooked in an oven!  Once inscribed, the plate is dipped into a copper sulphate mordant to etch. (following the methods described in Baldwin’s useful Youtube videos). Both etched metal plates and drypoint plates ( inscribed acetate sheeets) are printed by rolling on ink, which is worked into the groves on the plate. Then the excess wiped off before being printed on to dampened paper, using a printing press.  In 2019, she was awarded a bursary by Smisby WI to  attend a Colour Techniques in Intaglio at Green Door printmaking studio in Derby. 

Marie enjoys the technical and methodological challenges in print making, in addition to making an imaginative interpretation of a topic. She is still trying to find solutions to successfully produce her ideas in a pleasing format!  During lock down she explored photopolymer etching, which involves transferring an  image from an acetate positive to an etching plate, which is covered with a light sensitive gel, by exposure to UV light. The plate is then  “etched” with water and dried. This plate can then be inked and printed in the normal manner. Getting the exposure times right is very tricky!