Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Scared No More! Etching Plate Printing Simplified

The phrase "etching plate" used to scare me, since I have no background in printing.  

But somehow I've stumbled onto a simplified version, and I had fun working with it. 

To follow along with me, you might want to use a self-stick mounting board of craft foam and an artist's stylus/burnishing tool (pictured below, it's dark green and white).  Instead of this stylus/burnishing tool, you can use a ballpoint pen. 

If you can't find self-adhesive craft foam mounting boards, you can use a sheet of plain craft foam -- just glue it onto any kind of sturdy cardboard.  Or, if feeling brave, you can try using the sheet of craft foam by itself, without any kind of backing. 

The photo directly above shows my 9" x 12" Vases stencil (stained green) that has been placed over a sheet of white craft foam. 

9" x 12" Vases Stencil

With one hand, I held the stencil-and-craft-foam "sandwich" together by pressing them firmly down onto my work surface.  

Using the stylus/burnisher, I drew thru the squiggle-line openings that form one of the vases.

Next, I lifted off the stencil to show the craft foam that had been under it -- now "etched" with the vase design. (Please pardon shadows in the photo below!) 

My following step was to take the top off a Distress Ink pad, and rub the upside-down inkpad across the "etched" plate.  I then spritzed the newly inked surface of the craft foam with water, as shown below --

I placed white cardstock over this damp surface and used my hands to press the cardstock evenly across the entire inked surface.  Then I lifted the cardstock, pulling the first print, shown below....

Deciding to go for a stronger image, I tried another inkpad color, repeating the sequence, and pulled the print on the far right, below:

I hope this simplified version of "etching plate printing" has opened a window to new art-making adventure for you!

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