View Full Version : etching technique to a lino

01-09-2003, 03:42 AM

Did anyone try to apply etching technique to a lino?
I wonder if it would work to replace the acid by turpentine or so....


01-13-2003, 06:51 AM
Oooh, sounds dangerous to me! Replacing the acid with turpentine wouldn't do anything as turpentine won't eat away the lino. In fact, I clean my lino with turpentine.

In a printmaking class I was taught how to use caustic soda to 'etch' into lino. You can make it at home but I can't remember the recipe! We just sort of painting with it freehand onto the lino but maybe you can use a resist of some sort, like wax, to control where it goes. Again, I'm really not sure. I don't think you could ever get the fineness of line as you do with a metal place because it would be very difficult to get that tiny sliver of edge in lino. Or to get it and get it to print without collapsing under pressure.

If you're looking for a non-toxic way to etch I'd recommend you try drypoint. You get a drypoint needle and just scratch straight onto a plate. You can use a burnishing tool to flatten out mistakes. It's very physical work but really lovely when it prints! The lines are soft edged, like pencil marks. And of course you can do drypoint in an art class - I took metal plates into a life drawing class once. You can also experiment with other tools - there's a well-known printmaker here (Anita Klein) who I believe uses nails for some of her lines. If you do a search on her name in google.co.uk you should get some images to look at. :)


01-15-2003, 06:07 AM
Thank you Tina,

I don't know why, but your answer didn't appear in my "My WC!"....

I searched in the archives of this forum and I found a thread with this interesting link :



01-17-2003, 05:39 AM
I checked out the link and the part about etching into lino.
All of those chemicals are so dangerous... :(
I always look for the least toxic methods and this just doesn't sound good to me. And it's still a relief print so the working risk just doesn't seem worth it to me.
If you do try it, be extra careful and take all possible safety precautions.


01-19-2003, 11:04 PM
Yes they are very dangerous chemicals. It behooves you to look for the least toxic materials to work with. There is a book out on Non-Toxic Printmaking techniques. I have even stopped using turpentine to clean my plates with. A mix of sprinkled whiting and Dawn dishwashing liquid works just as well. You can also use plain cooking oil to clean the plates and then wipe them down with denatured alcohol. Keep those lungs protected. One of the highly respected printmaking instructors at Boise State died last year from cancer. Remember that every chemical has a fume as well as the direct contact effects. That is why it is best to work in a well ventilated area.