Intaglio• Intaglio prints have always been considered one of the elite form of graphic art. The precise nature of the etched or engraved line, the richness and tactility of the printed surface, and the ability of the medium to amplify the intention of the artist-all these give to the intaglio processes a unique and unmistakable identity.
Intaglio • Intaglio is Italian for „engrave‟ or „cut into‟. • It is a printing process in which the image is incised or etched into a metal plate using a variety of techniques and tools.
Intaglio• In intaglio printing, an impression is made by pushing the paper into inked depressions and recesses in a metal plate. These depressions and recesses are created by acid (in etching and aquatint), by burin or graver (in line and stipple engraving), or direct scratching and scoring on the metal (in drypoint).
METAL PLATES FOR INTAGLIO • COPPER • ZINC • ALUMINUM • MAGNESIUM • STEEL
Copper Plate • Ideal for all types of intaglio techniques • Copper is popular as its malleability allows corrections to be more easily made.
• Can be purchased in several forms: o Photoengraver’s copper (usually 16 or 18 gauge, comes with an acid-proof backing and is polished into a mirror finish.) o Uncoated copper (often available by the pound from metal suppliers, is cheaper and has the advantage of providing two usable surfaces. It may have to be burnished or polished before use.
Zinc Plate • Is usually cheaper than copper • Does not hold the fine detail as well as copper, because it is softer and has a coarser structure.
Brass • Brass has many of the same etching and engraving capabilities as copper. • An alloy of copper and zinc, it is harder than either and similar in price to copper
Aluminum & Magnesium • Aluminum and magnesium are soft and produce few impressions. • Fine etched detail is difficult to obtain on an aluminum plate, because the Aluminum acid bites in a coarse and irregular manner.
Aluminum & Magnesium • Magnesium etches more cleanly, but the plate does not endure as well as zinc or copper. • Both metals are difficult to engrave, because the tool Magnesium digs to readily.
Steel • Soft steel, despite its name, is harder that any of the other metals mentioned. • In terms of durability it may be the most desirable material, since it yields very large editions.
Intaglio in General• Ink is applied to the recessed areas of the printing plate by wiping, dabbing, or a combination of both.• The paper receives the ink from the incised marks and not from the top surface of the plate, although thin films of ink may be left on the surface to produce a variety of tonal effects.
Intaglio in General• For intaglio printing, the paper is dampened so that under printing pressure it will be squeezed into all the inked recesses of the plate and around it (leaving a PLATE MARK if the plate is smaller than the paper).
The ink is wiped off the surface of the plate, but remains in the grooves.
Paper is placed on the plate andcompressed, such as by a heavy roller
The paper is removed, and the ink hasbeen transferred from the plate to the paper.
Intaglio• One of the distinguishing characteristics of this type of printing is that the dried ink impression stands up from the paper in very slight relief, perceptible by touching with the fingers or by close inspection.
Intaglio• In all intaglio prints, except mezzotint, the design is produced from ink in lines or areas below the surface of the plate. The smooth surface is wiped of ink before printing. Considerable pressure is used in the press to force the ink out of the lines and areas and, to an extent, to force the paper into them, so the final printed image will appear to be slightly raised above the surface of the un- inked paper.
TYPES OF INTAGLIO PRINTS oEngraving oDrypoint oEtching oAquatint oMezzotint
Engraving Lines are incised on a highly polished metal plate by means of a sharp-pointed instrument, diamond- shaped in cross section, called a burin or graver
Engraving • The image is made on the plate as for an ordinary drypoint, but before printing all the burr is removed from the plate with the scraper. This leaves only the grooves to hold the ink.
The engraved line ischaracterized by-sharp and infinitely crispdetail-are often smooth-flowing-thinner where theengraving tool cuts less ofthe surface metal, swellingto heavier and wider lineswhere the tool is pusheddeeper into the metalMartin SchongauerArchangel Gabriel from an AnnunciationScene1480. British Museum, London
Tonalities are achieved by - engraving parallel lines close together(hatching) - making parallel lines that intersect atvarious angles (cross-hatching) - many closely spaced fine dots (stippling)
Charles BurtWilliam Cullen Bryant.1884. Collection DeliSacilotto• Engraved copper plates – yield several hundred good impression.• Steel – capable of holding the finest detail, because it is much harder than copper - can producethousands of impressionsfrom a single plate
Dora RaabLady with Fan, detail.Collection Deli Sacilotto
Stipple Engraving By using the point of the burin one can flick out dots of metal to create a subtle tonal image- a method known as stipple engraving.J. ChapmanSelim III, Emperor of theTurks, detail. 1799. Collection Deli
Drypoint • One of the most direct and straightforward of the intaglio techniques • Produces a characteristically soft, heavy line
Drypoint • Lines are scratched into the metal plate using any sharp instrument with the same freedom as a pencil called the drypoint needle.
Drypoint • The drypoint needle should be of hardened steel and strong enough to withstand considerable pressure without breaking.
Drypoint • The effect is spontaneous, not formal. Cutting into the plate throws up, on each side of the cut, ridges of displaced metal, which are called burr. • In the printing of the plate, these ridges will also take some ink and print a kind of inky glow around the line
Drypoint This burr holds the ink very well. Different from engraving, this burr is not removed before the printing process. The drypoint technique typically produces prints with irregular, more fuzzy lines.
Drypoint• For the plates, tin or copper is the preferred material for the drypoint technique because it is soft and fine- grained.• From a commercial point of view, drypoint has the disadvantage of a fast wear of the plates.
Jacques VillonPortrait of a Young Woman1913. Drypoint printed inblack. Museum of ModernArt, New York
Etching • “etching” describes those intaglio techniques in which the grooves are made in plate by acid, as opposed to engraving techniques in which they are made by hand with a needle or burin
Etching • An etched line does not have the smooth, crisp quality of an engraved line. • It is usually sharply defined, but slightly irregular due to the action of the biting into the metal plate.
Etching • Lines are drawn through the ground (acid-resistant substance) with an etching needle baring the metal of the plate. • Acid is then applied which eats into the exposed areas. The longer the plate is exposed to the acid, the deeper the bite and therefore the stronger the line.
Etching• Finally, the remaining ground is removed with solvent and the plate is prepared for printing.• Different depths are achieved by covering some lines with acid-impervious varnish (stop-out) and biting others a second (or third) time.• The appearance of etchings is usually free and spontaneous but the technique has occasionally been used to produce results almost as formal as engraving.
Soft-Ground Etching • One of the etching processes which aims to simulate the effects of a chalk or crayon drawing (see: crayon manner).
Soft-Ground Etching• The plate is initially covered with a soft ground. The drawing is made with a hard crayon on paper which has been pressed to the surface of the grounded plate;
Soft-Ground Etching • the ground adheres to the back of the paper where the crayon has left indentations in it, thereby creating an impression on the plate of the crayon marks.
Giorgio MorandiStill Life. 1956.Collection Emiliano Sorini,Maywood, N.J.
William StrangFrontispiece from Etching, Engravingand the Other Methods of PrintingPictures by Hans W. Singer &William Strang. 1897.
Aquatint• Is a method of etching tonal areas into a metal plate.• Name derives from the Latin aquafortis, indicating nitric acid (literally, “strong water”), and the Italian tinto, meaning tone.• Often used in conjunction with linear etching or engraving.• The texture of aquatint plate can be coarse of very fine.• Its effect is to produce solid areas of tone.
Aquatint• Aquatint is a special form of etching.• It is created by etching sections rather than lines of a plate.• First a porous ground of powdered or melted resin or asphalt or a similar ground is dusted onto the plate.
Aquatint• Next the plate is heated from below and as a result the applied dusty coat adheres to the metal and is acid- resistant. The acid is spread over the plate and bites into the tiny holes left in the coating.
AquatintThis technique is used to create tone and texturein a print. The plate is sprinkled with a powderedresin, heated so the resin melts and clings, thengiven an acid bath to bit the areas not coveredby the resin, creating a porous ground.
Aquatint• A technique of acid-biting areas of tone rather than lines. A ground is used that is not completely impervious to acid, and a pebbly or granular texture (broad or fine) is produced on the metal plate. Stop-out, second and third bites are. used to produce variations of darkness.
Mezzotint • The only intaglio technique that proceeds from dark to light rather than the opposite. The metal plate is totally abraded with an instrument called a rocker.
Mezzotint• Rocker o a rocker is a tool shaped a bit like a spatula, but the business end is curved and covered with a row of small teeth.
Mezzotint• Were it inked and printed at this point, it would produce an even, rich black. The design, in areas of tone rather than lines, is produced entirely by smoothing areas of the plate with a scraper or a burnishing tool. The more scraping and burnishing done, the lighter the area.
Mezzotint Process • The first step in creating a mezzotint is to cover the entire plate with a texture which will hold the ink. This process is called Grounding.
Mezzotint Process • Once the plate is textured, the fun can begin, creating an image on the plate • At this stage, a pencil line drawing is made on the textured plate, or traced from a drawing made on a piece of paper.
• Then, the artist uses a number of tools to scrape and burnish, or polish, the copper plate in the areas that need to be gray or white.• This is the part of the process where the artist is actually making art - Think of it as drawing the picture, but instead of paper and pencil, the art is made with copper and scrapers.
Mezzotint Process • The ink is rolled onto the plate. • Unlike the ink in your ball-point pen, this stuff is amazingly gooey. It has the thickness of bathtub caulk, the stickiness of clover honey, and the color of the inside of a deep, deep cave.
Mezzotint Process• Once the ink is on the plate, and rubbed into all of the pits and burrs, it‟s time to wipe the excess away from the surface. This will allow all of those scraped and burnished sections to print in grays and whites. All the parts of the plate that still have the rocked texture will print in rich, velvety blacks. See the photo below to find out what this process looks like.
Carborundum mezzotint Ground• A good, quick way of producing a mezzotint ground is to use carborundum (silicon carbide) grit.• is used as an abrasive and, in powdered form, in a method of engraving invented by Henri Goetz.
Carborundum mezzotint Ground• He used it to obtain a dotted effect by sprinkling it over a metal plate (usually duralumin) which was then pulled through a press, thereby causing the grains to penetrate the metal• The coarseness or fineness of the roughened surface is controlled by the quality of the carborundum grit.
Photogravure • Sometimes known as heliogravure (particularly hand photogravure), this technique is one of the most important methods of industrial printing (the others being letterpress and offset lithography).
• It is an intaglio process which can be divided into two procedures: (1) Hand photogravure, a derivation of the aquatint in its method of obtaining tone. After sensitizing a copper plate and exposing it to light to form the image, resin or bitumen grain was scattered over it. The procedure continued as for a normal aquatint plate.
• This technique subsequently developed into a totally photomechanical process: (2) Machine photogravure, in which the tone is supplied by a cross-line screen. It was discovered that the plate could be bent into the form of a cylinder, a development which allowed very fast printing speeds (rotogravure). The technique is used more for magazines and catalogues than for print-making itself.
Photogravure Process STEEL FACING - A copper plate must be steel faced to avoid wear to the etches. The process uses electrolysis to apply the facing.
Photogravure Process PREPARING THE PAPER - The paper must be cut, uniformly dampened, and stored in that condition in order to provide the ideal printing surface.
Photogravure Process INKING THE PLATE - A special mixture of inks, representing a sepia tone, are mixed and applied to the entire face of the plate.
Photogravure Process WIPING THE PLATE - The plate is wiped with a tarleton in several steps to remove excess ink and assure that the ink has been applied uniformly.
Photogravure Process THE FINISHED PLATE - A photogravure plate contains etches from one to thirty microns deep in order to capture the entire tonality of the glass positive of the photograph
Photogravure Process PLACING THE PLATE ON THE PRESS - All photogravures are hand printed, using mechanized or manual Brand presses. The plate is laid in place on the press in a premarked position to insure proper alignment.
Photogravure Process PLACING THE PAPER ON THE PLATE - The photogravure process is one in which ink from the plate is forced from the grooves onto the paper by the pressure of the press
Photogravure Process FINISHED GRAVURE - The entire process takes nearly twenty minutes to complete as after each strike, the plate must be cleaned, re-inked, wiped, and again placed on the press.