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Etching Made Easy | Karen Ball

Course overview

In this workshop students will be introduced to the intaglio printmaking technique of etching using safe, non-toxic materials. Etching has been used for centuries by artists to create fine art prints, in recent years less toxic etching methods have been developed. Join experienced printmaker Karen Ball to learn:

  • about image composition and image selection
  • preparing the aluminium etching plate
  • methods of scribing into the etching plate
  • etching the plate in copper sulphate
  • how to achieve tone and different types of line
  • how to print your image in different ways

Participants will also experiment with their prints, using layering of Japanese and tissue papers, print over previous images, and introduce drawing ink and mixed media items.

The techniques used are relatively non-toxic and can be used at home.

Is this course right for me?

This course is for all levels. The most important thing is an enthusiasm to learn a wonderful medium.

About our printmaking facilities

We have two printing presses suitable for intaglio and relief printing techniques. At our school we teach ‘safe’ printmaking techniques. That is, we don’t use acid baths or aquatinting boxes with rosin.


Your tutor will supply copper sulphate, 1 aluminium etching plate, ground (included in the course fee) and use of our etching inks and scribes.
Students will be provided with a ‘creative pack’ including Japanese papers and other mixed media items plus sheets of (56cmx76cm) of printmaking paper

Students should bring:

  • an apron
  • disposable gloves
  • a roll of paper towel or some rags
  • drawing materials and paper
  • drawings that you might like to make into prints
  • Ideas!

Maximum of 12 students in all our classes Our class sizes are small, ensuring you receive the individual tuition you need.

Unless otherwise noted, prices exclude art materials. Click here to see a list of local art supply retailers.

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This course has no current classes. Please the waiting list.