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Courses > Etching

Students will be introduced to basic printmaking practice and will develop these skills over the duration of the course. The course is aimed at those who have some printmaking experience or an interest in printmaking; however it is also suitable for people who are new to art.

We will begin the course by introducing students to a series of printmaking methods, creating a line on a copper plate (hard ground and soft ground) and creating tone on a plate (aquatint). As the course develops students can also employ techniques such as sugar lift and spit bite to work further into the image on their plates.

As students will be working from their own ideas, it is important to bring some drawings, photographs or other images as source material. Students will be provided with a start-up supply of copper, paper and inks. Safety goggles and masks are also provided. Students will need to purchase an etching needle, which can be bought at the studio or Kennedy's art supply shop on Harcourt St.

It is also necessary to bring:
- apron
- rubber/latex gloves
- pencils, pens and paintbrushes
- a notebook

Class Plan

It is important for every student to have a print notebook to take notes at all demonstrations and make personal notes of what has been done to each plate.

Week One

Print Room
Introduction to class and its objectives
Introduction to etching techniques: drypoint, etching, aquatint, grounds
Revelations portfolio- selected prints from GSD collection
Explanation of Health and Safety requirements and studio practice

Tour of Studio

Demonstration of printing one-colour plate and 3-plate print

Ground Floor
Demonstration of preparing and grounding a copper plate.
Each student will then prepare and ground a plate
Clean up

Week Two

Ground Floor
Soft Ground Demonstration
Students will then begin to etch their first plate and prepare a second plate.

Week Three

3rd Floor
Printing demonstration

Ground Floor
Aquatint demonstration (a method of achieving tone)
Students will use this class to print their plates and further their work on their other plates

Week Four

Ground Floor
Sugarlift demonstration
The remainder of the class is self-directed time to be used for any printing or plate making, or problem solving with the instructors, as each student wishes.

Week Five

Acid Room
Demonstration of spitbite
The remainder of this class is self-directed time

Week Six


This whole class is self-directed time, students should aim to use this evening to finish their plate making.


Printing practice and paper preparation. This class aims to finish the student's prints with professionalism by demonstrating paper preparation and editioning methods. We will discuss paper handling, and printing and signing editions. Students will explore different methods of adding a second colour to a print and printing with more than one plate.

Students should note that the outline for each class is subject to change as the students themselves choose the direction they each take and as such it is important to attend every class.

Health and Safety Agreement

Please read our Health and Safety Agreement. This document must be read and signed by all participants in etching classes at Graphic Studio Dublin.

» View Health and Safety Agreement.

Cancelation Policy

Graphic Studio Dublin reserves the right to cancel any course when insufficient numbers enroll. In these instances we will give as much notice as is possible and fees paid will be refunded in full.