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How to ink, wipe and produce good prints?

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Author : Charlotte Reine

You have engraved your plate, it is ready for the magical moment of printing and discovering the image. Follow these easy tips to produce high quality art prints.

1. Cutting and dampening the paper

Fold your paper and cut it with a knife to obtain a slightly jagged edge. When your paper is cut to the correct format, submerge it sheet by sheet in a tray filled with clear water.

You can use Canson® Edition, ou Canson® Barbizon. Let it soak for one hour for thicker weights (200 to 300 gsm).

Take it out of the tray and drain it. Place a rhodoid sheet and weights on top of your sheets of paper to extract excess water. After printing, dry each sheet between two sheets of blotting paper; the paper must be very flexible, wet to the core and there must be no traces of water on its surface.

2. Inking the plate

Take a small amount of colour and place it on the plate with a “dabber” made of tarlatan.

Apply your ink using small circular movements on the plate so that it penetrates well into all the carvings.

3. Wiping the plate

With a crumpled piece of tarlatan, wipe the plate vigorously at first and then gradually more gently as the image appears.

Change the folds of your crumpled tarlatan as often as possible in order to have clean surfaces.

4. Wiping with tissue paper

Wiping with tissue paper makes it possible to accurately remove the ink left on the non engraved surfaces, without erasing the ink in the carvings.

5. Putting under the press

Place the inked plate on the press at the place where you drew your frame.

Place the damp sheet of paper on the plate and pull down the printing felts (large sheets of soft felt) before putting the press into motion.

After passing under the rolls, remove the felts and discover your printed proof.


  • You can use a roll for quick single colour inking. Rub firmly during the first wiping to make the ink penetrate the carvings.
  • Wipe the edges of your plate well after the wiping phase with a cloth dampened with white spirits to avoid black marks around your engraving.
  • Dry your print immediately between two sheets of blotting paper with weights on top so that your print stays flat.