The Acid Plate Etching Process

The acid plate etching process involves cutting a metal plate to the size of the required image. The plate is then covered in a coat of wax which is left to set. The image is then etching into the wax using a sharp instrument using different depths and strokes to create different textures.

tom cat acidplate etching printmaking process

The wax coated plate is then submerged in acid for a precise amount of time so that the acid burns into the plate where the wax has been scraped to form the image on the plate. The plate may be dipped in the acid multiple times for different durations to obtain the precise depth and texture required. 

walkies acidplate etching printmaking process

The plate is then cleaned removing all the acid and remaining wax then carefully covered with ink before being placed on paper that has been soaking for some time and rolled through a printing press to produce the final print. The print is then surrounded by tissue paper to absorb remaining moisture and left for several days pressed between heavy objects changing the tissue paper several times over that period until the paper is completely dry and ready to wrap.