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Etching History

History Rembrandt, The Virgin and Child with a Cat, 1654. Original copper etching plate above, example of the print below, with composition reversed. Main article: Old master print Daniel Hopfer, Three German Soldiers Armed with Halberds, c. 1510. An original iron etching plate from which the prints would be made. National Gallery of Art Origin Etching by goldsmiths and other metal-workers in order to decorate metal items such as guns, armour, cups and plates has been known in Europe since the Middle Ages at least, and may go back to antiquity. The elaborate decoration of armour, in Germany at least, was an art probably imported from Italy around the end of the 15th century—little earlier than the birth of etching as a printmaking technique. Printmakers from the German-speaking...

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The Engraving Process

St Jerome by Albrecht Dürer 1514 Engravers use a steel tool called a burin to cut the picture or pattern into the surface, mostly a copper plate.[1] Gravers come in a variety of shapes and sizes that give different line types when used. The burin gives us a line that is unique because of its steady appearance and smooth edges. The angle tint tool has a slightly curved tip that is commonly used in printmaking. Florentine liners are flat-bottomed tools with multiple lines on them, used to do work on larger areas. Flat gravers are used for doing work on letters, as well as most musical instrument engraving work. Round gravers are commonly used on silver as well as other hard-to-cut metals such as nickel and steel. History and usage In ancient history, the only...

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