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Etching and Engraving Techniques

Mi Desmedt is an accomplished artist, etcher and engraver. To create her art, she applies and experiments with both existing engraving and printing techniques, as well as with new innovative processes and techniques she has been inventing herself.

There are several ways of introducing colour into an etching. Two traditional ways are the one plate method and multiple plate printing.

Mi's own unique colour printing method is based on working with only one plate, however, unlike the traditional one plate method, she overprints several times after reworking the plate between each overprinting. Mi also uses both line etching and aquatint on most of her plates. The result is a rich colourful print showing a combination of engraving, relief, and transparent colours.

The One Plate Method and Multiple Plate Printing

There are several ways of introducing colour into an etching. Two traditional ways are the one plate method and multiple plate printing.

Mi applies the One Plate Method, also called encrage a la poupee, to ink the plate in several colours. However, this is not absolutely precise: colour areas will overlap, so each print will be slightly different. She uses the Multiple Plate Printing method to overprint separate plates, etched or engraved with different parts of design and inked in different colours.
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Other Printing Methods, Techniques and processes




Mi also uses Line Etching and Aquatint on most of her prints, as well as other techniques listed below.

Drypoint

A method which consist simply of scratching a design into a metal plate, the most direct of all intaglio processes.

Burin

The basic engraving tool is the burin, a shaft of very hard steel. In cross section the burin is square shaped. Mi uses the burin to force up a metal burr to create an engraved line which is precise and clean: thin at the beginning of the stroke, swelling up to full strength in the middle and thin at the end.

Line Etching

A method with which Mi produces her design by removing parts of the metal plate with diluted acids. The longer the plate stays in the acidbath, the deeper the lines and the stronger the lines will print on the paper.

Aquatint

A process which Mi uses to produce a whole range of shadings on an etching plate � from white through successive greys to solid black. She either uses this method as a primary technique in its own right, or in combination with other techniques, to give more depth to images produced with an etching needle.

Intaglio Printing

The basic method, essentially the same for all the above processes, involves use of a heavy metal flat-bed press with the artwork reproduced by being passed through two large rollers.

Visit Mi DeSmedt's Atelier D'Artiste

Mi's studio, workshop and home are all in the same place in Meyrals, France, so if you would like to see Mi at work, find out more about any of the techniques she uses or see a large collection of her etchings and engravings, do pay a visit!

Tags: etching,engraving,intaglio printing,line etching,aquatint,burin,drypoint,art,etchings,gravure,artist,landscapes,fine art,river scenes,seascapes,dordogne,california,uruguay,french countryside,countryside art,belgian
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