Etching Tools – RGM


These hand-sharpened etching tools are endowed with durability and precision. The scraper and needle tip will maintain consistent hardness due to the special heat treatment applied to the high carbon steel, assuring that the edges never lose their sharpness. The polished finish allows for better use of chemical products and easier cleaning at the end of the day.

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Etching is a printmaking technique capable of producing atmospheric tonal prints. The technique can be used on its own or combined with many others – there are endless creative possibilities. In this article we describe how to get started with etching and explain the various materials and tools you need to create your first print.

Etching is an intaglio printmaking technique, where acid or other corrosive chemicals are used to incise lines or marks into a metal plate. An acid resistant ground (or resist) is applied to the surface of the plate, and an image is scratched or drawn through the ground to expose the metal underneath it. The plate is then placed in an acid bath for a period where exposed marks are etched away. Ink is applied to the plate, and pushed into the etched lines before being placed in a press, where it is printed onto damp paper. The resulting prints often have rich, velvety lines and a range of tones which stand alone or can be combined with a range of other printmaking techniques.

Etching tools of various sizes can be used to make marks in the etching ground. Using a variety of etching needles allows you to create lines of varying widths and depths. It is like using a pen without ink, and they have metal points to scratch into the etching ground.

Etching ink is stiff, highly pigmented and designed to stick to the grooves and indentations in the plate. There are a variety of different types and brands of etching ink, and they generally fall into two categories – traditional oil based ink and watersoluble etching ink.

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