Tuesday 25th October 2016 – Half Term

Research: Photo Gravure

Offering an original etching by National Academy Artist , Ralph Fabri. Titled ” AMERICANA ” . In excellent condition, offered in the original sleeve issued by the Society of American Etchers, including an introduction by John Taylor Arms. Image Size is 7 3/4″ x 9 1/2 “, sheet size is 11″ x 13 7/8”. Edition size not stated , probably 250 or less. Pencil signed and titled by the artist. Very Interesting commentary on the American condition, Very good impression.



How does one make art. For most of us we might draw or paint but we would not generally consider the  art of etching or engraving. The idea of scratching lines onto a sheet of metal sounds like to much work and could we be sure that our scratchings would even hold the amount of ink we wanted.  Etching is done by covering a metal plate with an acid-resistant layer of wax called a ground and drawing a design through the ground using an etching needle. The plate is then dipped in acid, which bites into the exposed lines, thus etching the design into the plate.  An engraving is made by incising a design into a metal plate by applying pressure to the plate with a pointed tool called a graver or burin.  Etching creates delicate and subtle designs while strong lines and sharp definition are main characteristics of engravings.  Luckily for us there are artists which did take up etching and engraving.



Photogravure is yet another intaglio medium; it’s a photo process where a fine aquatint is used to create tones. Photogravure starts with a photo positive in the size that the final, etched image will be. The artist sandwiches the positive against a piece of paper-backed, light sensitive gelatin and exposes the whole thing to light. The white places on the photo positive, where there is little or no emulsion, get a full blast of light. The gelatin is hardened in these areas as a result of the intense light. Blacks of the image, emulsion-thick areas on the positive, block light from affecting the gelatin underneath–leaving it soft.



Photo chemical etching is a popular manufacturing process for a number of big industries; from space and aviation to household appliances, and more. Its popularity is due to the benefits the method offers; an impressive turnaround, a quality finish guaranteed, no burring or stress, ability to work in great detail…the advantages of
photochemical etching are endless.

Of course, this innovative process is not just limited to making metal filters and miniscule components. The precision and control afforded by photo etching means you can use it for decoration and design, even on the smallest and most intricate of items.


The Intaglio-type represents a new family of printmaking techniques developed by Keith Howard, that allows a great variety of image making possibilities. Intaglio-type techniques utilize ImagOn in conjunction with conventional etching presses and traditional etching inks. ImagOn can be used for all photo-generated imagery from high quality halftones to computer generated images, even simple photocopies, to achieve the highest quality photo-intaglio print. Painting and drawing techniques can also be achieved by working with drafting Mylar. A large range of subtle ink and gouache washes can also easily be transformed into print. Intaglio-type techniques with ImagOn represent a departure from traditional intaglio plate making, and offer the printmaker unparalleled image-making capability without compromising health, safety or the environment.


Research: Photo Gravure Techniques

I found some interesting documents on the Internet that focus on the process of Photo Etching.

The photo etching process consists of 9 steps.

The “front end” process consists of material selection, material cleaning, application of photo-resist or “lamination”, image printing and transfer and image developing.

The “back end” process consists of etching, stripping and visual and dimensional inspection.

Each stage of the process is interdependent of the next, so the preparation of the material at the front end of the process is crucial to achieving a high quality and accurate etched component.


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