Etching Process Pictures

The majority of the pieces that Golden Key Prints currently has available are etchings. As someone who is not an artist, sometimes printmaking can be a little confusing. Hopefully this post clears things up!

Coating and Etching

Etching is the process of scratching into something, in this case a piece of copper covered in hard ground. For this process, Scott uses an etching needle to scratch the image onto the plate. 


Acid Bath and Cleaning

Once all the images have been etched, the plate is placed in the acid bath. The hard ground protects the plate and that parts that are exposed are eaten away by the acid. This makes the grooves deeper and will allow the ink to sink into them later!

After the acid bath, the plate is removed and cleaned with mineral salts.


Cutting the Plate

Because Scott etches 4 different images onto a single plate, he needs to cut it down after the plate is cleaned. The plate is cut in half and then each of those pieces is split so all of the pieces contain a single image.



The edges of the plate will be somewhat rough after it is cut down. Each of the four plates is filed individually so that the edges are smooth. This will allow the plate to safely go through the press and create an image with a clean look.


The filing process can be time consuming and is probably Scott's least favorite part of the process.


Next Steps

Stay tuned for the second part of the process where we will actually get to see the new images!