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The Exquisite art of Etching

What does the word "etching" call to mind? It is used in many contexts and can be a bit confusing when it comes to original prints.

I know that it's very important to my collectors that they understand the creative process. You can hear as many explanations as you like but it doesn't really make sense until you see it done .

That's why I've prepared a 4 minute video to introduce you to the exquisite properties of etching. You'll start to understand why this process has fascinated me for more than 20 years.

What is an etching? An etching is a hand-made print pulled from a metal plate that has grooves made by a chemical reaction. The word "etching" is both a verb (the action of eating away at the plate) and a noun (the finished print)

Rebecca Vincent printing silver birch autumn gold etching on copper plates

My etchings are printed from one or two copper plates that have been bitten with ferric chloride. I use acrylic resist fluids to protect areas of the plate from the chemical reaction. There are different techniques used to create the lines, textures and tones and the plate is bitten many times to create all the indentations. Once etching is complete, I remove the resists and ink the plates by hand using up to 12 different colours. These are rubbed in and wiped back very carefully each time the plate is printed. The ink is transferred onto damp paper through an etching press (a bit like a mangle) under high pressure. A number of near identical prints can be made (called an edition) but each one is printed separately by hand. Where I have used two plates, the paper is printed twice so that there are two layers of colour.

Etching is an amazing medium that offers so many mark-making possibilities. I can interpret the landscape using an appropriate technique for each area: fine lines for the winter trees, even textures for the farmed land and soft wash-like marks for the sky. The etched marks have a slightly raised quality when printed and give the precision and depth of tone that I’m looking for.



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