3-Day Intaglio Bootcamp with Jemma Gunning


Monday 12 February – Weds 14 February 2024

(includes Pancake Day and Valentines Day)


3-day Intaglio  bootcamp!

Join Jemma Gunning for a fun 3 days of exploring various Intaglio printmaking processes. The course will cover hardground, softground, sugarlift and aquatint. You will be guided through each process with the chance to play and amalgamate techniques to produce rich and exciting outcomes.

The traditional Intaglio process involves various methods of etching an image into the surface of a metal plate by using waxy acid resists and then submerging the plate in a bath of acid. Once the plate is inked, the incised lines that have been etched will hold ink whilst the rest of the plate is wiped clean. The plate is passed through an etching press where damp paper will receive the marks by the huge amounts of pressure from the press.

You will:

  • Learn how to create a series of etchings exploring different processes using copper plates.
  • Learn how to do incremental etching to achieve a range of tonal values in your prints.
  • Learn how to combine techniques.
  • Learn about composition and the layering of processes to form well considered images.

By the end of this course, you’ll have the fundamental understanding of various intaglio processes, with the confidence to keep on practicing. This will be a hands-on inky course where you’ll get to take a range of unique prints home with you!

Spike Print Studio 3 day intaglio bootcamp course structure 

Day 1 – introduction to hard ground and soft ground


  • Introduction and welcome
  • Demonstration of plate preparation
  • Demonstration of hard ground process
  • Participants create and etch hard ground plates.
  • Demonstration of inking and wiping
  • Participants proof plates and make counterproofs.


  • Introduction to soft ground with demonstration
  • Participants makes soft ground plates.
  • Proofing of plates

Day 2  – introduction to aquatint


  • Demonstration in aquatint – applying the rosin and the different stopping out tools that can be used for various mark making potential. Demo in step etching to achieve various tones.
  • Participants start making aquatint plates.

PM -Sugarlift

  • Demonstration on how to mix up a sugar lift solution.
  • Sugar lift demo
  • Participants create sugar lift plates or add sugar lift to the plates created in the morning.

Day 3 introduction to sugar lift aquatint


  • A chance to finish off plates and explore the combination of processes.


  • PRINT FEVER – last chance to create a small edition from one or two of the plates created over the week.
  • Reflection and review of work made.

Photography – Alex Sedgmond


Spaces available

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