Sunday, October 21, 2012

The World of Copper Engraved Plates

AbeBooks is our guide, here.

From the piece...

While steel was more durable, copper was softer and more easily engraved, allowing for an image richer in depth and tone. But as tools became more sophisticated, and the importance of mass production increased, durability became the main focus and steel became the popular choice. Known as copper engravings or copper-plate engravings, the pieces engraved on copper were produced with the use of a very hard steel tool called a burin, or graver, or later by machine, engraving the work into a flat plate. While this technique was satisfactory and pleasing for the creation of bold, clean linework, it was lacking in the area of shading and half-tones. 

These were accomplished through hatching, which consists of very thin lines, close together to give the appearance of shading or fill. For especially color-dense areas, those lines were engraved atop one another vertically and horizontally in a technique known as cross-hatching. Differently textured filled areas could also be accomplished by stippling, an engraving art technique similar to the painting technique of pointillism, involving the use of multiple tiny dots very close together for a dark, blanket effect, and further apart to denote lightening. 

No comments: