Lift Ground & Open Bite Etching


Sat 19 August 2017
11am – 5pm

3 places available

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Etching is a means of engraving imagery and mark making into various kinds of metal plates with the purpose of printing the plates. In Western Europe, the process of etching began during the fourteenth century as a way of decorating metal (eg: armour or jewellery) and was not initially seen as a means for printing imagery.

Course Information

Lift Ground
This technique is a way to achieve a painterly effect, similar to that of a wash effect used in watercolour painting. Marks resembling brushstrokes can be made on to the metal plate, so the printed image can become very expressive and dynamic.

The special ground is applied using brushes. The plate is then aquatinted, whilst the ground is lifted using a finger and the plate is then bitten, stripped and printed in the traditional way. Lift Ground can be treated in a vigorous way to produce an active, dramatic and energetic plate.

This technique is suitable for complete beginners to etching, as well as those who desire a more casual, clear approach and artists who are already familiar with other etching techniques. 

Open Bite
This technique is one in which will give the etched plate a ‘chiselled’ or sculpted effect. This method produces varying levels within the bitten area, as in a bas relief, to produce it’s unique aesthetic look.

The technique can be used in conjunction with other ways of mark making in etching (line drawing or aquatint for example) or can be highly effective on its own, in order to achieve a very tactile quality. Open Bite can be used quite freely, as it is applied with brushes, and lends itself to abstraction. After application, the plate is bitten using varying times consecutively, thus giving an etch on different levels.

This course would fully suit those with previous etching experience, artists who wish to add new techniques to their repertoire or even for those just beginning.

All materials and notes are included in the price of this workshop. No previous experience of printmaking is required.

Additional information


Sat 19 August 2017


11am – 5pm


6 hours

Course Tutor(s)

Anna Johnson


Regular £120, Green Door Member £108, Concession £108, Student £102