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An Etching is a form of reproducing an image on paper (or printing) utilising a metal plate (usually steel or copper) on which marks are created using chemical action. The plate is covered in a ground impervious to acid. The artist then draws through this ground to expose the metal plate. The plate is immersed in an acid bath until the exposed metal is sufficiently eaten away to form a master printing plate. The plate is inked and then paper and pressure applied which is why a plate impression is sometimes mentioned (although if the edge of the plate is off the paper then no plate mark will be evident.) The time and skill involved in this intaglio technique accounts for the high value of etchings. Etchings
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