Traditional engraving techniques (indirect size) expose the artist and his environment to many toxic products and fumes.
In 1989 Keith Howard published “Safe Photo Etching for Photographers and Artists”, the first book to introduce a non-toxic method of engraving. Since many others have joined him and other publications have appeared, “Non-Toxic Printmaking” in 1998 by Keith Howard, Henrick Boegh publishes “Handbook of non-toxic intaglio” edition reissued in 2008 and translated into several languages .
The so-called “non-toxic” engraving techniques use products that are less harmful and more respectful of the environment.
Traditional techniques can be reproduced with as much efficiency, they are enriched with new gestures, new approaches.
The nitric acid used for etching and aquatint is replaced by a salt, iron chloride (to etch copper) or copper sulphate (to etch zinc) and are both neutralizable and their scent are less see not toxic.
I discovered these methods in 2009 during an engraving internship with Henrick Boegh and I am patiently trying to create a “non-toxic” workshop.