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Etching

plate lines acid bitten

Etching, method of engraving in which acid is used to carve the lines into a metal plate; also, the print obtained from such a plate. Modern plates are usually copper or zinc. The plate is covered with an “etching ground,” an acid-resistant film of mixed waxes and resins, on which the etcher draws. The plate is then submerged in an acid bath until the faintest lines have been bitten. It is then removed, and these lines are “stopped out” (protected) with varnish. The process is successively repeated until the darkest lines (those exposed longest to the acid) have been bitten.

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