Blog | Intaglio Prints

Any slightest scratch or mark that disturbs the surface of a highly polished plate of metal will hold printer’s ink and can be printed. Any method of which a design composed of such printable marks is made is called an Intaglio process.

The three basic types of Intaglio work are dry-point, engraving, and etching. In dry-point the surface of the plate is torn by a sharp point thrust in to the surface and dragged along it, the tool is held like a pencil. In engraving, V-shaped trenches are cut into the surface of the plate by a tool called a Graver or Burin, which is pushed along the surface. Etching is a process by which lines are chemically eroded in the surface of a metal plate. The polished plate is covered with a specially prepared ground, the principal of which is wax. The grounded plate is then blackened with smoke. The artist draws his design on the blackened ground with a point or etching needle. In theory, the etcher presses just hard enough on the point to scratch through the ground, but not dig in to the plate.

We are qualified experts on prints and can identify and appraise your artwork. To set up an appointment please contact us at 312-372-9216.