What is an Etching?
An etching is an original, hand pulled print taken from a metal plate, usually copper or zinc. The plate is first coated with an acid resist known as a ground. The artist draws through the ground with an etching needle to expose the metal. Once the drawing is complete the plate is immersed in a bath of acid or metal salts, technically called a mordant. Traditionally nitric or hydrochloric acid are used, but in many studios, such as Edinburgh Printmakers where I work, less toxic metal salts such as ferric chloride and copper sulphate are substituted.
Once the artist is satisfied further impressions are printed. Each print is numbered and signed in pencil underneath the image. This is an edition of prints. The prints in an edition should be identical using the same paper and colours. Print editions are shown as a fraction, the bottom number being the total number of prints made and the top number being the individual number of the particular print.
Prices range from £35 - £100