Etching with letterpress relief printing

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An intaglio technique that uses commercially developed photopolymer plates. A transparent positive is exposed to the plate, which has been pre-coated with a thin layer of light-sensitised polymer. When developed or ‘etched’ with water, a shallow image is produced on the plate with a subtle tonal range. Once inked-up, the plate is rolled through an etching press and the image transferred onto paper.

Letterpress printing is a form of relief printing. A raised surface (such as a woodblock or a collection of type letters) is rolled with ink and placed on the bed of a letterpress printing press with a sheet of paper on top. The operation of the letterpress is like a mechanical stamp – it applies pressure to the relief block which transfers the image on to the paper.