I studied printmaking as an adjunct to the sculpture course at the City and Guilds of London Art School.
Etchings and linocuts are handmade prints using either acid-etched copper plates or hand-cut lino blocks. They are printed in limited editions.
Lino prints, like wood cuts, involve cutting away the surface of the block leaving a raised image on to which ink is rolled. Paper is laid on the block and an impression is taken by rubbing or pressing the back of the paper.
In contrast, etchings involve a multistage process of coating a metal plate with a wax ground, drawing through the wax with a fine needle, and then immersing the plate in acid to ‘bite’ the exposed surface. This creates fine grooves in the metal which can hold ink – having removed the wax ground, the plate is coated with ink and then the ink is wiped off the unetched surface. The ink that is left behind in the grooves will be transferred to the paper when run through a press. There are many further techniques to add tone and texture to etchings, such as aquatint, sugar lift, etc. The etchings are relatively simple, aiming to retain the freshness of the quick sketches from which they are derived.