Etching + Relief

The Press Studio has three intaglio/relief presses and one specialised relief press. The studio is also equipped with separate acid, solvent and aquatint rooms. The press studio supports low-toxic acids for both zinc and copper (copper sulphate + ferric chloride). There are a wide range of tools and equipment for members use including large and small rubber rollers and etching and relief tools.

A type of intaglio printmaking. Lines and marks are acid etched into the surface of a copper or zinc plate to create grooves that hold ink for printing. Ink is pushed into the grooves using tarlatan (starched muslin) and then the surface of the plate is wiped clean with tissue. Dampened paper is laid onto the plate and run through a press at high pressure. The ink is transferred to the paper leaving a positive image.


Relief prints are made by cutting, chiseling or engraving the surface of the lino or wood to create light or white areas. Ink is applied using a roller to the surface of the block. Paper is laid onto the surface and printed through a press or by hand using a barren.

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The lithography studio has two presses, the Takach electric press and the smaller Red manual press. There is a huge range of hard and soft stones for members to hire. The Studio has one leather roller and a range of rubber rollers. It also has a range of plastic and leather scraper bars.

Traditionally a limestone is used as a porous surface to draw on using greasy and waxy crayons and inks. The stone is etched making the non-image areas receptive to water and the greasy areas receptive to ink. The dampened stone is inked up using a roller. Paper is then laid onto the surface of the stone and run through a press transferring the image to paper. Aluminium plates can also be used with a similar process.