Print Europe Banner

Printmaking Techniques



The image is built up by grooves and areas which lie below the surface of a metal plate, usually copper or zinc. To take a print, ink is pushed into the grooves, and the surface of the plate wiped clean. The plate is put onto a press bed with dampened paper on top, then run through the press under pressure, drawing the ink out of the grooves and onto the paper. Intaglio prints are often characterised by an embossed line around the image, which is made by the edges of the plate.


An intaglio print taken from a metal plate into which the lines forming the image are cut with a wedge shaped tool called a burin.


A print taken from a plate into which the image has been bitten with acid. The plate is covered with a wax or resin ground, which is scratched away to reveal areas of metal. Acid bites into these exposed areas leaving a surface that holds ink.


A process where the plate is etched through a porous ground of powdered and melted resin, so as to produce a texture when printed.


The surface of the plate is worked by rocking a serrated tool, which forces the metal to sit on the surface of the plate. When inked the surface prints a rich black.

Carborundum printmaking

In carborundum printmaking, the areas in the plate which are to print black are covered with a mixture of carborundum, an industrially produced substance, and a binding agent. When dry that area retains ink just as in any other intaglio process. Carborundum printing gives a rich velvety surface.


The plate is covered with glue, and drawn into with any implement. When dry, it is inked, wiped and printed.




© ConnectWorks LtdPreviousHelp ?ExhibitionsFeedbackTechniquesOrdersNext