Aluminium Foil Printing by Paul Carney

Many thanks to Paul Carney for sharing this resource.

Aluminium printing provides a low cost and more manageable alternative to the process of etching and engraving used in industry and throughout history.

Aluminium printing

Lesson Ideas:

This process might be used to study animals or flowers for Key Stage 1 Science. You might use it to compare traditional printing with modern computer based printing and see how it has changed in Key Stage 2 Science, make Historical illustrations or illuminated letters. In Key Stage Three Art and Design, it can be used as a stand alone technique to make beautiful personal prints on a wide range of subject matter or for Key Stage 4 GCSE project work.


In traditional etching, a metal plate is covered with a waxy ground which is resistant to acid. The engraver draws a design onto the surface of the waxy plate which is then dipped in acid. The acid bites into the surface of plate which is then able to hold ink ready for printing. Great Master artists such as Rembrandt and William Blake used this process for their work.

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