Etching is an art medium in which the artist works directly on the metal plate, from which original prints are hand-pulled. Each etching is considered an original fine art print.

Working on the plate

Etching the plate in acid

In etching, the "drawing" is done with a pointed tool, on a zinc or copper plate which has been covered with an acid-resist ground. The work on the plate is always done in mirror image to the final print. The plate is then immersed in acid ("etched"); it is the etched line that will later hold the ink. This is repeated many times to achieve the varying tones on the piece, for it is the amount of time the plate is left in the acid bath that determines the volume of ink the lines will hold, or the tone they will print. The plate will be cleaned, regrounded, and reworked several times. During the working of the plate, many proofs are "pulled" to check the progress of the image.

Wiping the inked plate clean

Positioning plate on the press

Pulling the print

When the plate is finally ready to be printed, the edges are beveled and burnished by hand. At this point a 100% rag paper is moistened to the right softness. The plate is inked and carefully wiped clean by hand, leaving ink only in the etched lines. The softened paper is then forced into the inked lines as it passes through the steel rollers of the etching press. Various colored inks may also be used to enhance the finished etching by careful inking and wiping of each color.

Since the plate must be re-inked by hand for each print pulled, no two prints are ever exactly alike, as are machine-made reproductions.

The prints are dried for several days. If they are to be hand-colored, each is carefully watercolored. Finally they are given approval by a number and the artist's signature. When the edition is complete, the plate is canceled and a cancellation proof is pulled.

Etchings are truly limited editions, since the metal plate will wear down as the edition is printed.

Etchings - Landscape I

Etchings - Landscape II

Etchings - Early West & Native American

Etchings - Wildlife

Etchings - Nature

Etchings - Horses

Paintings - Gallery I

Paintings - Gallery II

Paintings - Gallery III

Archived & Commissions

Etching Process

Galleries & Shows

The Artist



© Copyright Susan Hedstrand (Wilderness Visions Studio). All Rights Reserved.
Duplication of any image without the expressed permission of the artist is prohibited.