The University of the arts

Photo Etching
The University of the Arts

CE 5086N 01 Photo Etching

CE 5086N 01

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Rebecca Gilbert



Fall 2018

  • (Sep. 24 to Nov. 26)
  • Mon 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM
  • (Sep. 24 to Nov. 26)
  • Mon 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
  • 0.00 Credits
  • 0.00 Credits
  • Tuition: $295 / Fees: $60
This course will merge non-toxic photosensitive technology with traditional methods for making printed works of art by hand. In addition to utilizing time-honored etching methods for making prints on paper, we'll explore two different processes used to create photo-based etchings. The first process will cover how to use a light sensitive film called ImageOn to create an intaglio plate. The second process will explore exposing images onto a photopolymer plate. Options for creating hand-drawn and digital negatives for exposing plates, inking, paper preparation, and printing will be covered in the class as well as safe use of exposure equipment, etchants, and printing presses.

Course Overview

There are no prerequisites for this course; however, to ensure your success, it is recommended that students have some experience using either photoshop or another program for manipulating photographic imagery, and/or access to enlarged photographic negatives. While I can assist you in printing negative films to some extent, this is not a photoshop class. The focus of the class is to develop plates and print in the etching studio.


Each class will be divided between demonstrations, and assisted time for you to work in the studio. Some weeks will require students to complete out of classroom assignments. This course will briefly touch on different methods for producing digital and hand drawn negatives to expose to photosensitive plates, and focus on using these techniques in conjunction with traditional methods for producing and printing etchings.

What will you learn in this course?

• Gain experience using an overhead exposure unit

• Be able to apply, expose, and print etchings using photopolymer film
• Have a basic understanding of different methods used to produce transparent negatives
• Have a working knowledge of how to safely operate an etching press, etchants, and other tools in the shop
• Have broadened their vocabulary in relation to using proper print related terminology to discuss etchings

Course Materials | Supplies

• Copper etching plates - available from Blick, Artist and Craftsman, Plaza arts, Graphic Chemical, Renaissance Graphics, or Online Metals (16 gauge to 21 gauge)

• newsprint pad for printing and for transporting your prints

• Printing paper such as Rives BFK, Pescha, Hahnemule, German etching, Rives de lin - available from Blick, Artist and Craftsman, Plaza Arts, Talas online

• Sketchbook (suggested for notes, planning projects and idea sketching)

• Protective gloves

• Pictorico film or frosted mylar

• light safe drawing supplies (will be discussed in class)

• Polymer plate (for those of you wishing to try this product (available from UArts resale)

• A limited amount of ImagOn film will be provided. For those working on many plates, or on large plates, you may be required to purchase your own.

• A limited supply of contact paper will be provided. For those working on many plates, or on large plates, you may be required to purchase your own.

• Inks, acid resists, and solvents will be supplied for you