Intaglio prints can be produced using a variety of materials for the print matrix. Copper and zinc plates are commonly used for etching and drypoint. Plastic can be employed for drypoint as well. Collograph matrices can be created from a variety of materials. For the purposes of this site, we are going to focus on the use of copper plates. Copper is available in a number of differing grades from industrial roofing copper to mirror polished engravers copper. Mirror polished copper is approximately three times the cost of industrial grade, and a bit thicker. Industrial copper requires a bit more preparation, but the imperfections in the plate rarely detract from the quality of the print, and can be removed and polished as determined necessary by the nature of the image.

The drop-down links under the menu section platemaking will articualte the steps necessary to prepare a metal plate prior to etching or drypoint.

NOTE: Please be mindful of the communal nature of the VCU etching studio. do a quick glance through the studio at the end of your work period. Return tools proper storage areas, clean off work tables and ink stands, and dispose of any soiled paper towels and newspaper.

deburring copper for etching

Intaglio - a Studio Manual, was created with support from the VCU Center for Teaching Excellence - Small Grant Program.
This electronic intaglio studio manual was authored by Holly Morrison for the students at the VCU School of the Arts.

©Holly Morrison, all rights reserved