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Intaglio Level 2 - Soft Ground Etching

New dates to be published soon

Soft Ground Etching

Duration: 8 Weeks
Rating: Level 2
Tutors: Collin Cole assisted by Dina Kroon

This course is designed to take you step by step through the process of SOFT GROUND etching, from plate preparation to pulling the first proof.


Soft Ground, is an acid resistant coating made of asphaltum, rosin, beeswax, and tallow. The addition of tallow keeps the ground from drying to hard surface. A soft ground line has the character of a pencil or crayon drawing. Anything pressed into the soft, waxy ground - with a texture such as lace or fingerprints - will cause the ground to yield under pressure. Soft pencil or crayon-like lines can be created by placing paper over the surface of the soft-ground plate, then drawing on the paper.

A second method of soft ground etching is to imprint textures into the surface of the soft ground you can use any thin, flat material (gauze, dry foliage, lace, fabric). Textures can be imprinted into the soft ground by hand burnishing, by disturbing the soft ground with fingertips, brushes, etc., or by impressing a texture across the surface of the plate using the printing press.

For more information email

This course is is devided into two distinct parts:

Part One (5 weeks)

You will be introduced to the soft ground technique through the processing and manufacturng of two seperate test plates;

The first plate, using an indirect drawing method, and

The second plate, using found materials in a collage form.

Part Two (3 weeks)

The second part of this course will consist of an assignment project. During the course of the first module you will be given a creative theme assignment. Preparatory drawings and the collection of research materials will be done on a individual basis outside of studio time. You will not be left alone - we will be keeping an eye on you to help develop your creative thinking skills.

This research will culminate in the production of a black and white soft ground etching utilizing one, or a combination of both techniques, covered during the manufacturing of the test plates in the first part of the course.

A one hour group critique of your final print will be incorporated.



Email or sms 082 924 6673 with your name, contact number and email address.

Due to the intimate nature of the studio environment, this course is limited to 8 participants. Please register as soon as possible. Payment confirms your place.

COST: R6 850

Download our course details PDF here.

24 Chatou Road, Richmond, Johannesburg

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