Extending the etching ground.

I prefer a solution of pure bees wax, drops of mastic varn ish and bitumen dissolved in a 60/40 solution of pure turpentine and ch- loroform. This solution dries quickly and leaves a dark thin elastic film quite sensitive to the etch ing point.  Smoking the plate is to be avoided, as it both heats the copper and covers defects in the ground. I have found that if you avoid heating the crude copper it is possible to print well over 500 copies so the limitation of the edition becomes ethical rather than practical.











Etching the plate.

I use a dentist’s drill honed to a fine point.  There are many other fine steel points  available so it’s a question of choice or habit.

The plate can be many materials , crude copper, micro-zinc, brass, iron or steel. Each material reacts in a particular way to the acid so it should be chosen with the end result in mind.











The first bite

Each material has a series of acids which function in a different way so again the acid should be chosen with the end result in mind. In this case I used ferric chloride in a weak solution so the etch was about an hour long. In all cases it’s better to do this outside or in a well ventilated cool place. I use a double basin to control the temperature of the acid so the bite is as controlled as possible