Easy Etching With a Pasta Press




Introduction: Easy Etching With a Pasta Press

About: I work for a charity most of the time but when i,m not i am a wood tuner, former teacher, artist and prop maker, developer and researcher residing in the UK. I cannot think of anything better than the exciteme…

I recently moved house and a lot of equipment is un available at present so I thought it would be an idea to go back to basics and print without the fancy presses and tools.

I used:

Clear plastic sheet
a needle


A pasta making machine (I was given mine. trust me if you know anyone with one they will not use it and will be happy to give it to you)

Ink (I have etching ink which is burnt linseed oil and pigment.. but I have used shoe polish as well as oil paint and had successes)

water and a tray to keep the water in.

More paper.. seriously if your printing you will want to make a whole bunch of prints.

Step 1: ​Find an Image You Want to Make an Etching Of..

If you want to go freestyle then that’s cool an you can skip a few steps. If not then find an image you like.. Pictures of family members tend to go down awesomely this time of year.

Also remember that the printing process will produce a mirror of the image your looking at so you might want to flip it first using an image editing software.

Step 2: Cut Out Some Clear Plastic Sheet to the Size of Your Image

You could add a little more space for your border but endure you will be able to run the sheet through the pasta maker

Step 3: Temporarily Tack the Image and the Sheet Together

Step 4: ​Grab a Needle

If you have an etching tool then this step could be a whole lot easier. If not then I recommend experimenting with the marks you make.

Step 5: ​Use the Needle to Tract the Image

Try looking at etchings for inspiration, there are techniques which can be used to shade such as cross hatching which could make your work look awesome.

Step 6: Rub in Some Ink

Step 7: ​Clean Off the Ink You Don’t Want

I like to use paper towels. I tend to have a lot of them around an there cheap.

Step 8: Make Sure You Have Some Soaking Wet Paper

This step could have been mentioned earlier.. but makes more sense here.. The wetter the paper the better.. as long as it is not falling apart.

Step 9: Make a Sandwich With the Scratched Into Clear Plastic Face Up to Wet Paper and Paper Covering It.

Step 10: Put the Paper Plastic Paper and Ink Sandwich Between Some Felt

Step 11: Run the Paper Plastic Paper and Ink and Felt Sandwich Through the Pasta Machine and Hope for the Best.

Step 12: Open Up Your Freshly Pressed Packet and Admire the Print You Have Just Made

Then make a whole bunch more.

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    Uncle Kudzu
    Uncle Kudzu

    7 years ago

    What a cool method! This reminds me of the paper plate zerography lithography that I tried (successfully) a few years back. Thanks for sharing this! Makes me wish I had a pasta press :)

    world of woodcraft
    world of woodcraft

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    There is pretty much a world of printing techniques out there. I think because smart people have been printing and dealing with limitations in creative ways for so long.. Given the success of this how to I plan to make a few more on the theme of printing. I know for myself coming out of college I used to think to print you need lots of very expensive material and equipment. the truth is you can get away with the back of a spoon as your press some times.

    (some of the most impressive printing on the cheap techniques i have ever heard of came from WW2 Europe forged documents. there are story's about the people making the forgery's eating the equivalent of the printing plates.)

    If you do give this technique a go I would love to see the results so please use the I made this button an leave an image.

    I love this !!!! I do all kinds of art. I went to U.C.Davis in the early 80's, and had some great teachers/artists , and I think you'd make a great teacher!!!I have a pasta machine for clay sculpting, but I'm going to use it for this from now on !!!!!

    world of woodcraft
    world of woodcraft

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    LOL I started out as a teacher in a small art gallery where I set up an ran a creative group for young people coming into the gallery where they could explore the theams of the artwork as well as play with new techniques whilst meeting and interacting with real life artists. It was a great way to start my working life..

    I think its a good thing to share the information you wish you had. Instructables seems like the best place to do this but there is something about live interactions which is just a little more pleasant.

    I'm glad that its been useful and given you some good ideas.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    This is a really neat technique. Especially the scratch-etching on the acrylic sheet. So simple and easy!

    world of woodcraft
    world of woodcraft

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Hey thanks.. To be fair I learnt this technique at Blackburn College I don't know where it originated or who with.. The pasta press is all me.. Though if you have one a mangle or roller mill or ideally an etching press would do a better job with the printing long term.