Winter Dunes Original Colored Etching Artist Signed But Unknown Limited Edition Out of Circulation 56/350 Gallery 3619 Frame Measures 13 1/4” X 13 1/4” We bought this piece about 25 years ago, though there is no date on the piece.
We bought it in a small art gallery in Wisconsin because of its beautiful somewhat abstract look and strong feel of a Midwest winter. We later had it conservation matted and framed to preserve its beauty and character. If you would like to see it in person call, 651-756-7028
Doing an etching requires the same techniques perfected hundreds of years ago and is evidenced in this piece. One of the most beautiful forms of printmaking available to artists is still the intaglio process a process that produces an original etching.
Like other kinds of printmaking, the etching process results in an edition of multiple originals: a limited number of finished prints, all created personally by the artist and all subtly different. What makes etchings so special is the fact that it requires the artist to be closely involved in the actual platemaking process if they want their art to come out as intended.
Today many kinds of art are just photocopied from an original, and the artist isn't involved in creating the actual print. But in an etching, all the work is done on the plate. It's a very time-consuming method. An etching is basically different from any other art form in the way it's created and printed. There's a different depth in the line, and when it's printed, you get a three - dimensional effect in the paper.
You can do things with an etching that you can't do with any other media. Each etching makes its own fingerprint. They have a greater depth of color and tonal value because the paper is run through a press while damp. This forces the colors into the fiber of the paper. Leonardo and Rembrandt did etchings, and they haven't changed much since. An etching is truly one of the most original and most beautiful forms of printmaking.
What Exactly Is an Etching ? An etching falls under the a whole special category called "intaglio prints." In any kind of intaglio printing, the portion of the printing plate that will accept ink is cut into the plate itself; the ink falls into grooves below the surface of the plate. When making an etching, the most common surfaces to begin with are zinc and copper plates. Zinc is less expensive but does not stand up as well over long printing. Copper is harder and gives a very fine, beautiful line.
Once the plate is chosen, the artist's printer prepares it by covering its face with an acid-resistant ground, usually asphaltum. The artist draws his image into the ground with any king of sharply pointed tool. (He may draw directly into the ground, or he may first transfer the image onto the ground through a piece of tracing paper on which he has sketched the image.) He is not actually cutting into the plate with the tool, merely leaving a definite line in the asphaltum.
Today it is often more common to make prints using a photographic process, shooting a picture of the image onto a plate that is sensitive to the negative image and printing conventionally from those plates, however that is not this kind of etching. With an etching the artist must be satisfied with the image drawn on the plate, the plate is immersed in an acid bath, which eats away-or etches-the lines into the plate. Depending on how long the plate is left in the bath, the lines will be deeper (and wider). The deeper the line, the more ink it will hold and the darker the color on the finished print.
Once the plate is finished, it is ready to be inked and placed on the press. With the simplest etching, a single color of ink is applied to all the lines on the plate. The plate is then carefully wiped clean-first with a specially prepared, stiff cheesecloth material-then with the palm of the printer's hand. Inking and wiping are crucial to the final appearance of the etching. While an artist can do his own printing, it is usually done by a professional printer under the close supervision of the artist.
A plate must be inked and wiped for each print pulled in an edition. While simple etchings are printed in a single color-usually black or brown-more artists today add color to their prints, either through printing with different colored inks or adding hand coloring to the finished print. Two or more different colors of ink can be added to a single plate, or different plates can be etched to hold different colors.
It is rare that an etching will be printed from more than four plates, however, or incorporate more than 10 colors of ink. Once the plate is inked, high-quality rag paper is dampened and laid on it to go through the press, which consists basically of a press bed and a heavy roller. Because the paper is dampened, the pressure of the roller forces it into the etched lines to accept the ink. The pressure is also so great that it invariably embosses a line around the image where the edge of the plate is forced into the paper. This is one way even novices can tell that the print they're looking at is an etching.