This is by far the most widespread printmaking

In this process of intaglio printing, a wax-asphaltum
ground is thinly applied to the surface of a copper
or zinc plate, creating what is often called a ground.
The artist then gently draws with a needle tool an
image, crisscrossing lines to develop darks and
shading through the protective ground. The
process of drawing and making marks is almost
effortless, as there is little resistance to the needle
from the wax ground on metal plate. Every line
removes small amounts of the ground in its wake,
exposing bare metal beneath as the needle glides
about. Tremendous detail and finesse can be
encouraged while layering and building up an image
through the ground. Later, the plate with the drawn
image is submerged or developed in a bath of water
with an etchant or acid of some sort added- such as
nitric, Dutch-mordant, or ferric chloride. All drawn
line work, or mark-making, or exposed areas not
protected by the waxy-asphaltum ground, will be
permanently “bitten” by the acid bath below the
surface of the plate. These “etched” recessed
areas are where ink deposits will remain, when it
comes time for printing on the press.
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(Click below to see
Ron Garrett's prints
in each technique)
(Click       to watch a slideshow
below of Ron Garrett's prints)
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