Etching is a printmaking technique involving a metal surface such as zinc or copper, and an acid biting material to eat into the surface to create an image. To begin the metal plate is first covered with a protective hardground. A design is drawn in the hardground layer exposing the metal plate. These exposed areas are then etched (eaten away) after being in a bath of nitric acid. To print, ink is rubbed into the etched lines and the plate is run through a press with rag-paper placed on the surface. The image is thereby transferred to the paper- although in the reverse from that on the original metal plate.
Chine colle is often incorporated with etching. Similar to collage, it involves the application and impression of another paper. This is done during the printing process. After a plate is prepared with ink, pieces of paper are placed on top, (for example, circles of tissue paper or origami paper in the Bubbles series), and brushed with wheatstarch-paste. When run through the press, the papers adhere to the ragpaper.
Etching is one of the oldest methods of printmaking. All my pieces are original, hand-pulled, signed and numbered.