Works on Paper:
How an engraving is made
That's a Jeweler's loop on my head.
The vise in my left hand, and that the plate is on, is a half-sphere called a engravers vise. It slides in the base it is sitting in like a ball and socket joint, allowing maximum movement in the left hand in any direction.
Sometimes the technique is to move the plate into the tool instead of the tool into the plate, or both can move into each other, depending on the cut of the line, the tool used and how the tool is sharpened.
smallest details are done with a microscope.
Like to see a picture of an engraved copper plate?
|How about step by step pictures of a plate in several stages of the engraving process that shows how an engraving is created?|
Then it is inked, wiped and laid on a piece of paper towel on the press, inked side up.
I take a sheet of dampened printing paper and holding it at the corners lay it over the plate in one smooth movement, not shifting or moving the paper so the ink does not smear.
Then the felt blankets are laid on top of the paper and
it is all run through a press, printing on paper that
has been soaked with water overnight.
| Want to see a step by
step slide show of an engraving
Look for the Engraving slideshow.
- The printed paper
is the engraving.
It is the paper on the top left in this picture being pulled from the
which is resting on a paper towel used to absorb excess moisture from
the print paper.
- Usually I work on the plate more after the first proof
is printed, if some elements do not fit the vision.
- These copies are trial proofs, and each one is usually unique
since the plate is engraved on between printing (commonly
called impressions) until the plate is finished.
- After the plate is done being worked on, four or five impressions
"Artist's Proofs" are printed to make sure to get the ink consistency
and wiping process correct. These are more unique compared to the later
ones, as they are not as consistent.
- After that numbers are written on the engravings, beginning
with, for example 1/50.
- The first number is the individual engraving number, in this case it is "1."
- The second shows how many are
in the edition, in this case there are "50."
- You can tell an original engraving by the ridge on the
back and the impression on the front where the roller
has pushed the paper into the plate, similar to embossing,
but in the shape of the plate.
A flat piece of copper or zinc (called a plate) is engraved with tools called burins.
This is the Intaglio process, where the image is cut below the surface of the metal plate.
That makes it the opposite of embossed, which rises above the surface that has been cut down.