Drypoint etching – intaglio for the home (without the acid bath!)

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Drypoint etching is a lovely medium. It produces those velvety, emotive, gouged lines and marks that makes intaglio printing unique, yet it can easily be done at home (we, easilyish, if you can hire a press) as it doesn’t demand acid baths, light boxes and the like.

I’d been wanting to have a crack at it for years and finally had the time and impetus to simply do it and ask the questions during the process.

These were done with woodblock carving tools (and a spoon!) on basic A4 clear 3mm perspex sheets from the London Graphics Centre. The best part may have been handling the ink (Akua Bone Black) sourced from the completely expert and immersive Intaglio Printmaker store near London Bridge Рwhich is where I did indeed hire this gorgeous little press for a few days.

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These aren’t the most amazing etchings, I know. A newbie to the technique from top to bottom I wanted to see what the secret portraits would look like out of the sketchbook, printed with those famously velvety and rich marks that only intaglio gives.

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