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- Etching Guide and Tutorial : Tips and Troubleshooting -
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Danger Will Robinson, Danger

One of my printmaking teachers once said, "All etchers die of cancer at some point." This isn't a license to start smoking 3 packs a day and forgo ventilation and glove concerns in regards to etching. It is a morbid call to protect yourself the best you can. The wretched brand of etching uses some very nasty and /or noxious chemicals. Ventilate! Ventilate! Ventilate! Use gloves too!

First tip: Get a lesson! Seriously! Take a class. I shudder to think a first time newbie etcher prospect using my web site as a first guide. At this point, if I employed a lawyer, she'd tell me to include: Etch at you're own risk! The Wretched Etcher cannot be held responsible for dissolved limbs, wart removal experiments gone wrong, cancer, fume induced hallucinations, memory loss, loss of hair, or any other ill effects of etching. I will take responsibility for the bad humor throughout the web site however!

Use other resources. There is a lot of information about etching and printmaking out there. This site only touches on a few techniques; explore.

More Tips will be added! I will try and include some photo examples as well. I really need to get this new web site launched so I will come back to this tip section.

Ink the Whole Plate
Even if you have a lot of blank area on your plate, I recommend covering the whole thing with ink. Ink that does get on blank spots will slightly discolor the paper. Since it is impossible to keep all areas clean, it is best to ink them all.

One Type of Metal for One Batch of Acid
If you are using different types of plates, like zinc plates and copper plates, each type should have its own batch of acid. Once an acid is used with zinc, don't use it with copper.

If you ruin a plate, try again. Etching can be frustrating, but that's why it is so rewarding. I am always running a couple test plates in the background.

Thank You - Mr. Wretched Etcher
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