These methods all involve cutting, biting or removing the surface of a metal plate either with acid or with tools. These marks are below the surface of the metal and ink is held in the troughs, cuts or burrs, the remaining surface being wiped clean. It is the marks that print. The most common forms of intaglio printing are etching, drypoint, aquatint, line engraving and mezzotint engraving.
Click the images below to find out more and see examples of my etchings, drypoints and mezzotints:
Hand made prints are individually known as proofs. There are various types of proof; an artist's proof is a finished proof that is not part of the edition (or published limited edition set) and a small number of these are usually kept by the artist to be used as gifts etc.
Trial or progress proofs are those that are taken along the way in order to judge the state of the plate. These are sometimes numbered as first, second, third etc. state. They show the process and various different stages of the artist's working methods.
The final edition is what goes on sale to the public. These will be numbered with the proof number and the number of prints in the edition. The earliest prints in an edition are usually the best as there is much less wear on the plate (the final trial proofs will be of the best quality). Once the size of the edition has been set and printed, no more prints can be taken from the plate.
Editioned prints will also be individually signed and titled by the artist, in pencil below the bottom edge of the image.