August 31, 2021
By Chelsea Reed
Etchings are a big deal here at Seaside Art Gallery. If you’ve visited the Gallery before, you are probably familiar with the art medium. But do you know these fun etching facts? Test your knowledge and find out, and then share with your friends. You might be surprised to learn something new!
Many people associate etchings with the Renaissance period, but the practice of etching is even older. In medieval Europe and ancient Greece and Rome, it was common practice to etch decoration designs into armor and weapons. Hundreds of years later, artists would figure out that the same process could be applied to create etched artwork!
This Swiss goldsmith and painter figured out how to transfer etched images onto damp paper in 1513. Urs Graf used iron plates. Later on, copper and zinc plates became popular. Graff only produced two etchings, but his work inspired more artists to experiment with the innovative art medium.
These Masters learned how to create sophisticated images by manipulating the depth of etched lines into the plates. Their work became famous in museums for dramatic shadows, pristine detail, and the softness of light. The Hundred Guilder Print by Rembrandt is an excellent example. Some of these pieces were so valuable, crafty thieves stole them from museums!
An artist can create dozens of original art pieces with a single plate. But because the plate wears a little each time it is used, artists stick with making a limited series of prints to ensure quality. Once the series is done, the artist cancels the plate. Sometimes, he or she sells it off.
A modern etching expert, David Hunter has made over 80,000 etchings in his lifetime. He teaches printmaking at the Crealde School of Art. He lives in Florida, but each year he visits the Outer Banks to show etching demonstrations at Seaside Art Gallery! People enjoy getting to know David and his relaxed educational art style.
Speaking of which, the David Hunter Labor Day Event is right around the corner! For a limited time, patrons can enjoy free shipping on all David Hunter artwork at Seaside Art Gallery during this event. You also get a chance to see his new etching this year, Hatteras Memories. It would be wise to get it now before it’s gone!
Chelsea Reed is a copywriter who writes winning content, articles, blogs, and websites from her base in North Carolina. She might not be building sandcastles or swashbuckling with pirates these days, but the Outer Banks beaches continue to keep her young at heart.
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