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Intaglio Printing

Intaglio prints are made through the creation of indentations in a plate’s surface. These indentations form the motif of the work. While the artist has a variety of possibilities as to how these indentations can be made in the plate, the printing process is always the same. After the artist has finished working on the plate, ink is distributed across it, making sure that it completely fills all the indentations. It is then carefully removed from the surface of the plate, leaving only the ink sitting in the indentations. The printing plate is then placed on the press, and covered with a sheet of moist, handmade paper. Both are coved with a layer of thick, soft felt and all is run through the press under high pressure. The damp paper is pushed into the indentations, pulling up the ink, so that the result is an exact inverted replica of the plate. The ink sits on the paper as a relief cast of the indentations in the plate.