Intaglio, Copperplate Printing Press, 1882

- Image ID: HRKM9E
Intaglio, Copperplate Printing Press, 1882
Science History Images / Alamy Stock Photo
Image ID: HRKM9E
Intaglio is the family of printing/printmaking techniques in which the image is incised into a surface, and the incised line holds the ink. Copper or zinc plates are used as a surface, and the incisions are created by etching, engraving, drypoint, aquatint or mezzotint. To print the plate, ink is applied to the surface by wiping the plate to push the ink into the recessed lines, or grooves. The plate is then rubbed with tarlatan cloth to remove excess ink. The final smooth wipe is done with (news)paper, leaving ink only in the incisions. A damp piece of paper is placed on top of the plate, so that when going through the press the damp paper will be able to be squeezed into the plate's ink-filled grooves. The paper and plate are then covered by a thick blanket to ensure even pressure when going through the rolling press. The rolling press applies very high pressure through the blanket to push the paper into the grooves on the plate. The blanket is then lifted, revealing the paper and printed image.