Intaglio Process
To me, art is a language made up of visual signs which are used to convey ideas, moods, or generalized emotional experiences. These signs can be mere shapes, colors or arrangements of ordinary objects. In my work, the use of earth tones, undulating shapes and calm romantic figures convey warmth, peace, love, dignity and tranquility of the human spirit. It is important to note that my work is not intended to communicate facts or information; it is not meant to represent, but rather it is used as a form of self expression. Hence, the observer can only attempt to grasp its meaning through intuition or instinct.
The Intaglio Stages
Intaglio is a method of printmaking in which paper is pressed into inked lines which have been etched on and into the surface of a plate. Etchings are created by using acid to eat a design or drawing into a metal plate, usually of copper, zinc, or steel.
Stage One:
A protective coating called 'ground' (black wax) is spread on the plate and left to harden. The ground will protect the plate from the caustic action of the acid. Image lines are drawn through the coating using etching needles.
Stage Two:
The plate is then put in an acid bath where the acid bites (eats away) the exposed metal, deepening the lines. Strength of the acid solution and length of time the plate remains in it determines the depth of the bite.

Complex, time consuming and intricate, yet gentle images can be achieved through patience and experience. There are infinite ways of adding texture to the plate.

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Physically scratching the texture on to the plate is one of them. Molding and manipulating texture using natural objects is another. Experimentation (trial and error) is the norm at the studio.
Stage Three:
Once the plate is fully prepared to the satisfaction of its creator, it is thoroughly cleaned and then inked by hand. The excess ink is wiped off the surface.
Whatever remains in the lines and textured recesses of the plate is what is printed on an etching press as the image from the plate.
Stage Four:
Under set pressure, dampened paper is forced into the grooves (the recesses in the plate) to pick up the ink and thus the image. For embossing, an un-inked plate is used to produce the 'white on white' image. This is referred to as a hand coloured, hand pulled image.
Stage Five:
Since the intaglio image is conceived and executed entirely by the artist, each print from the plate is an original work of art, unlike the photo mechanical reproductions.
Final Stage:
Depending on the time in the process, the prints are referred to as 'Studio Proofs', 'Artist's Proofs', or "Editioned Prints" - where the number is limited. In any case they are all signed and numbered by the artist.
Mathias Giving a Demo

303 Wellington Road South
London, Ontario N6C 4P1
Studio: (519) 432-7654
Home: (519) 473-5553
 Fri, Feb 23, 2018