From needle to etching, originals versus editions, the importance of different types of paper, and much more.
Using an etching needle, the artist scratches an image onto a metal plate covered with wax. This plate is then submerged in acid, which eats into the metal exposed by the scratched lines. The longer the plate is left in the acid, the deeper and darker the line will be. The plate is cleaned, inked, and cleaned again, leaving only the incised lines filled with ink.
Dampened paper and a protective cloth are placed over the plate, which is squeezed through an etching press — the pressure forcing the paper into the etched lines to pick up the ink. The image is printed in reverse, and an indentation, known as the ‘plate mark’, is left by the plate’s edges.
Etching has often been used to achieve extremely delicate black and white images, from the Old Master period through to modern times. Rembrandt famously used this technique to achieve atmospheric effect and Picasso continued the tradition into the 21st century.
An etching is a unique work given it is generally produced as a limited number of impressions (collectively known as an edition), and each print is given an edition number, typically written as a fraction — for example, 5/30. The number to the right of the slash indicates the edition size (in this example, 30), while the figure to the left is the individual print’s number.
Ed Gebski Studio produce a limited number of artist’s proofs, marked A/P, that are identical in nature to the standard edition. Here again, fractions may be used to indicate the total number of proofs, and the print number (e.g. A/P 1/3). Other proofs may be made at an earlier stage, as Ed Gebski develop an image or test different compositions. These are known as state proofs, trial proofs. These can be unique, with differences in colour combinations, paper types or size. (Andy Warhol started to sell his trial proofs as unique colour-combinations separate from the edition, and they’re now some of the most coveted works in his print market).
When the image is perfected, a proof is made and signed B.A.T. (an abbreviation of the French bon à tirer, or ‘ready to print’). The rest of the Limited edition (Generally, less than 150 pieces total.) is matched to this image, which is unique and traditionally kept by Ed Gebski Studio.
The Adoration of Captain Cody and the Legend of Starbucks, 2020Etching printed on Hahnemühle 300 gr. (White Paper).Image: 11,6 x 9,4 inches, 29,5 x 24 cm.Sheet: 16 x 11 inches, 39,6 x 28 cm.Signed in ..
Ismene, 2016Etching printed on Zerkal mould made 200 gr. (Creme Paper).Image: 11,7 x 9,4 inches, 29,6 x 24,2 cm.Sheet: 15,5 x 12,4 inches, 39,3 x 31,4 cm.Signed in pencil, lower right "EG. '16".Number..
Vallhala white, 2019Etching printed on Lanaroyal mould made 250 gr. (Off White Paper).Image: 11,6 x 9,4 inches, 29,4 x 23,9 cm.Sheet: 15,7 x 10,8 inches, 39,9 x 27,5 cm.Signed in pencil, lower right "..
Meisetwins, 2018Etching printed on Lanaroyal mould made 250 gr. (Off White Paper).Image: 11,6 x 9,4 inches, 29,4 x 23,9 cm.Sheet: 15,7 x 11 inches, 39,8 x 28 cm.Signed in pencil, lower right "EG '2018..
Our cataloguing information will describe what type of paper a print is on, and will describe a watermark if it’s present.
The choice of paper is an important part of the process because it can directly influence the nature of what the printed image looks like. Ed Gebski uses higher quality paper for his Etchings such as Lana Royal and Somerset papers (Mould Made, Acid Free & Archival, 100% Cotton). Most of the etchings sold at Ed Gebski Studio are signed by Ed Gebski, although not all prints are signed but sometimes only numbered and initialed by the artist.