Hogarth and the World of Prints: Technical Details

 
Etching through asphaltum
Step 3 Putting the image on the plate: etching through asphaltum
When the ground has dried, an etching needle is used to scratch a preliminary image through the ground, revealing the metal plate underneath. The plate is then immersed in a bath of hydrochloric acid diluted in water; the acid eats away at the exposed metal, creating lines capable of holding ink, which also act as guidelines for the engraving process
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