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art and design
1998 - 2020
etching by local artist Maria Simonds-Gooding
to some of her work
NOTES ON ETCHINGS: An etching is the printed impression taken from a sheet of metal which has been etched with acid. The sheet, or plate as it is called, is usually copper or zinc. To make a simple etching, the plate is covered with wax and with a sharp tool, lines are drawn through the wax so that the bare metal is exposed. When the plate is immersed in a bath of nitric acid, the exposed metal is etched away. The wax is removed, and a sticky ink is rubbed over the entire plate, and then wiped off again leaving the ink only in the etched lines. The plate is covered with damp paper and run through a mangle-type press under tremendous pressure, so that when the paper is lifted off the plate, the printed lines will be seen to stand in relief. As well as simple line-etching, there are many other techniques such as aquatinting, spit bite, soft ground, open bite, creeping bite, and sugar lift to name a few, which will produce an infinite variety of tones, textures and marks. Etchings are printed in editions, and the edition number is usually on the left hand side just beneath the print. If the number were 3/45, it would mean that that particular impression was the third one from a total number of forty-five. After the edition has been printed, the plate is defaced so that no further impressions can be taken.