What the course is about
Etching is a printing process by which an image is drawn and etched onto a metal plate using
acid. Once the plate has been made, multiple images can be taken from it. As a process it follows
on from engraving, but is more fluid. It was used by painters to reproduce their paintings. The
origins of etching are with Goldsmiths, metal chasers and more particularly by the armourer and
gunmaker, long before it was used in the making of prints.
You will be taught on a one to one level or small group situation, including mutually beneficial
talks, which will be illustrated and demonstrated.
NOTE: Asthma sufferers may be affected adversely by some of the chemicals used in the etching
process and should wear a protective mask. If you are pregnant you may need to take medical
advice before enrolling on the course.
Previous experience, knowledge or qualifications
All Levels from complete beginners to experienced etchers.
What to bring to the first session:
No special tools required at the start of the course, basic etching tools are available to borrow until students purchase their own, and can select the ones most relevant to their own practice. More experienced students should bring their tools, and any ongoing plates etc. to the first session.
Please bring basic equipment to each class, such as: Notebook and pen, pencils 2H, HB, 2B, 6B. You will need some basic small paint brushes, which can be purchased from the school shop.
Assessments, tests, exams
The tuition is largely on a one to one basis. There will be the opportunity to discuss artistic development through this one to one tuition. There will be benefit from a group of mixed level ability and to be able to practice experimental work in an atmosphere conducive to learning. A sub-group will be formed of those new to etching, to explore the basic processes of preparing a plate, ‘biting’ a plate, using grounds & aquatint. Taking prints & other effects such as sugar lift and drypoint, marbling and multi-plate images using colour.
At the end of the course
What will I achieve?
On this course you will learn:
1. Plate preparation.
2. Methods of etching including: hard ground, soft ground, sugar-lift aquatint, drypoint.
3. Methods of printing including: double plate registration & chine colle.
4. How to do a graphite transfer.
5. How to select appropriate methods of working to achieve your desired results.
As a beginner you will be taught all the basic processes to enable you to work independently. And with the support of the tutor, to select methods with which you can create your own etchings. As a more experienced printmaker you will be able to discuss your projects and ideas on a 1:1 basis with the tutor, to enable you to stretch your skills and ideas and gain advice on how to achieve them.
What can I do after completing the course? Information on progression routes will be adapted to individual student needs & requirements. Further options would be other printmaking classes, and drawing classes to increase skills. PSAD also offer a part-time two year Diploma course.This is a good option for those who are interested in art as a career in the future.
Notes: The morning & afternoon are separate classes but students can opt for all day, as etching demands a more considered time scheme. Your tutor can advise you further about where to go next. There are also other specialist classes that take place over half term and the summer school