Printmaking is more than just a way to make multiple images. I use the processes as my drawing tools. I work with zinc and copper plates using both traditional and modern intaglio techniques.
Hardground is a waxy resist that you draw through to expose lines on the plate.
Softground is a resist mainly used by impressing textures onto the surface of the plate.
Aquatint is a dot resist used to make light to dark tones.
The entire plate is bitten in a ferric chloride solution. This is a corrosive salt, much less toxic than traditional nitric acid.
For every print that is made, the etched metal plate is inked by pressing the ink into the grooves. Then the plate is wiped with cloth tarlatans to clean the high areas of the plate to show the light and white areas of the image. The inked and wiped plate is then run through a hand cranked etching press onto dampened cotton or rag paper.
One of my favorite aspects of intaglio is the fact that you can rework the plate over and over again until you have the final image you want. The image changes and develops in unforeseen ways.