Etching: The Verb
The French term for etching is "engraveur avec l'eau forte." Translated back literally the phrase is "engraving with strong water" or "engraving with acid." Basically that's what etching is. Instead of using pressure or friction to engrave; acid is used. Etching isn't only used in printmaking; glass etching is quite pervasive. Too pervasive if you ask me. Etching also has some industrial uses as well. In printmaking, acid is used to burn the image onto the plate. The plate is then inked and ran through a press to create a print. Don't take my word for it ...trust the almost sentient source of the Wiki.
Etching: The Noun
Prints made from etched plates are commonly known as etchings. Just so you know you're dealing with down home goodness, all Wretched etchings are inked by hand and printed using a hand cranked press.
Etching: A Quick Summary
Here is a quick low-down. First a plate (I use zinc plates) is covered with an acid resistant material. With a scribe, I then draw the image on that acid resistant material, exposing the zinc where I draw. The plate is then dunked into an acid bath. The acid eats the exposed zinc creating lines on the plate. The acid resistant material is then cleaned off. The plate is then inked and run through the press (with a piece of paper of course) and voila! an etching. See the etching tutorial for the complete low-down.
Thank You - Mr. Wretched Etcher
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