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The Artools tools
are manufactured
in tempered steel recommended for
its high resistance against wear. The handles are made
with seasoned and varnished beech wood. Most parts
of the tools
are set in very
strong chrome-
plated ferrules to withstand use and maximum wear.

All the hand tools
are illustrated in a catalogue
available from the above address.

The Tools include:-

Roulettes, Burnishers & Scrapers,

Dry Points,

Flat (chisel) Scorpers,

Long Shank
Square &
Lozenge Gravers

Point Gravers
(lining tools)

Square, Lozenge Round &
Ellipsoid Burins,

Multiliner Tools,

Opus Mallei,

Crible Points,

Hoe Scrapers,

Agate Burnishing Stones,


Ground & ink Brayers,

Mushroom Dabbers,


Plate Holders,


Factory: c: Industria s/n Sant Pere de Torello, Barcelona, Spain.
Tel/Fax 3 8509095
Main Office: Via Mazzini 197 16031 Bogliasco, Genova, Italy.
Tel/Fax 10 3470898

Technical Information on Artools Inks, Grounds, Mediums and Oils for Etching, Engraving and Calligraphic Printmaking.

Our superior line of products for the artist-printmaker has been developed over many years of experience, research and in-shop use by artists who do their own printing and by professional intaglio printers.

The line is unique in the field of etching materials in that it has been carefully formulated to serve the needs of artists working in traditional approaches to the intaglio print as well as those who prefer a freer use of newly developed materials which allow for a more rapid and exploratory technique.

The very highest quality traditional intaglio inks, oils, hard and soft grounds, transparent grounds, retouch varnish and cove- ring varnish are available along with our new products. They are: INSTANT BLACK GROUND, PROTECTING & AQUATINT VARNISH, SOLVENT LIFT GROUND and INTAGLIO GEL MEDIUM which have been developed by us to simplify many of the traditional (and time consuming) operations of the printmaker artist.

And moreover some old time products for modern use: the Solvent lift Ground and the Water Soluble Ink Lift Ground allow to achieve engraving without tools.

(For Printing Etchings, Engravings and Calligraphic Plates)

These superior inks are available in 16 colours plus white, base and transparent extender. They are packaged in cans of 1 Kg and 250 grams (2.2 Ibs and 8.8 ozs) and collapsible metal tubes of 60 mls (2.2 ozs).
They are produced from the most carefully selected materials of maximum permanency and are formulated to be used at room temperature (ordinary intaglio inks generally require preliminary heating of the plate when inking).

The BASE will restore the original tackto inks which have already been worked on the inking slab or that have already begun to dry up. It may also be used to change the normal viscosity of inks, if that is desired.

The TRANSPARENT EXTENDER will produce transparent effects, glazing or softer tones to the full strength inks.


(In bottles of 1000 and 250 mls - 33.8 fl.ozs and 8.5 fl.ozs)

(In bottles of 1000, 250 mls and 100 mIs- 33.8fl.ozs, 8.5 fl.ozs. and 3.38 fl.ozs)

(In bottles of 1000, 250 mls and 100 mls - 33.8 fl.ozs, 8.5 fl.ozs and 3.38 fl.ozs)

(In bottles of 100 mls - 3.38 fl.ozs)

(In cans of 1 Kg and 250 grs 2.2 lbs and 8.8 ozs).
Our intaglio oils are formulated for use as traditional ink additives to fluidify and alter the viscosity of the ink (when that is desired).
Our intaglio GEL MEDIUM, which is a new product, may be used in place of the traditional oils as an ink additive to impart certain handling characteristics to the inks. Naturally they dry slowly by oxidisation through the use of our oils and dryer the intaglio artist can formulate his own ink mixtures imparting to them those characteristics which best suit his individual needs.
Our intaglio GEL MEDIUM, which is an exclusive ARTOOLS formula, is a gelatine-like transparent oil paste. When mixed with our intaglio inks it does not alter the consistency of the paste or the tone of the colours. This medium is especially useful for colour intaglio works, viscosity printing and the collagraph print.
It allows the artist to work more rapidly and flexibly than he would be able when using the traditional oils, additives and extenders in his inks.
Its advantages become immediately apparent in multi-colour printing. As the artist is able to work with much greater speed, the vexing problems of expansion and contraction of the dampened paper are minimised, thus making polychrome printing much easier and resulting in the highest professional quality prints with a minimum of off-register proofs.

Our DRYER may be used to increase the viscosity of the ink and to accelerate drying.


Available in bottles of 250 mls and 100 mls (8.5 fl.ozs and 3.38 fl.ozs).
Solvents: Turpentine, benzene, mineral spirits
Our INSTANT BLACK GROUND is the modern version of the traditional SATIN BLACK GROUND and possess the same superior characteristics with the added advantage that it requires no smoking or blackening after the ground is applied as a blackening pigment is incorporated into the formula. This ground dries rapidly and is ready for working as soon as it is dry. It is an excellent medium both for primary grounding of the plate and for regrounding a previously etched plate for the purpose of adding additional work.

Available in bottles of 1000 mls, 250 mls and 100 mls (33.8 fl.ozs, 8.5 fl.ozs and 3.38 fl.ozs).
Solvents: Turpentine, benzene, mineral spirits
This is a superior liquid hard ground for etching. It is applied with a flat soft brush. After the plate has been smoked it presents a satin black surface which is easily drawn upon, responding to the most intricate and finely detailed needling with no risk of flaking or foul biting.

Available in bottles of 250 mls and 100 mls (8.5 fl.ozs and 3.38 fl.ozs)
Solvents: Turpentine, benzene, mineral spirits
This is another traditional product which, as its name implies, is used in very thin coats as a retouching varnish and as a covering varnish. It is highly recommended for use in the aquatint technique to obtain shadings of tone and to maintain blank, unetched passages on the plate. It is rapid drying.

Available in bottles of 1000 mls, 250 mls and 100 mls (33.8 fl.ozs, 8.5 fl.ozs and 3.38 fl.ozs)
Solvent: Ethyl alcohol
This varnish is a new and exclusive product of the ARTOOLS line. It forms a very tough, protective coating for the backs and borders of plates. It is highly resistant to acid, heat and accidental scratching of the plate's back surface. It also serves as an excellent stop out varnish as well. Our protecting and aquatint hard ground used with an air-brush brings astonishing results in "liquid aquatint". It dries well, and allows remarquable nuancing. The most diluted applications become extremely pastel- manner mezzotint, while thick applications result in perfect whites.

(Old time product for a new technique: painting and etching without tools)
Available in bottles of 250 mls and 100 mIs (8.5 fl. ozs and 3.38 fl. ozs).
Solvents: Turpentine, benzene
The solvent-absorptive action of the SOLVENT LIFT GROUND may be used to remove selected areas of hard ground, expose the bare metal and to allow for aquatinting (or other working) of those areas without removing the ground from the entire plate.
It works equally well on a plate which has been grounded with traditional ball or liquid ground and is especially suited for use with our SATIN BLACK GROUND and our new INSTANT BLACK GROUND. Areas to be removed are painted with the SOLVENT LIFT GROUND and allowed to rest for a few minutes. They are then gently rubbed with a soft rag or cotton pellet. This exposes the metal as drawn.

(Sugar lift) (Another old time product for a new technique)
Available in bottles of 250 mls and 100 mls (8.5 fl.ozs and 3.38 fl.ozs)
Solvent: Lukewarm water
This is a sugar-lift ink solution with superior lifting characte-ristics in its formulation. The artist may draw directly on the well cleaned and bare metal plate using a pen or brush. As soon as the soluble ink as dried to the touch the entire plate is covered with SATIN BLACK GROUND or INSTANT BLACK GROUND. When the LIQUID BLACK GROUND has dried the plate is held under a running warm water faucet or allowed to rest for a few minutes in a tray of warm water. The original drawing beneath will lift cleanly, exposing the bare metal exactly as drawn. The plate is then ready for the normal etching steps or for the aquatint process.

Available in lumps of 100 grs (8.3 ozs)
Solvents: Turpentine, benzene, mineral spirits
The TRASPARENT GROUND is very useful for retouching and reworking the plate after the initial biting and when the artist wishes to modify his work and add details. The plate is fully protected from the acid (as with hard ground) yet the transparency of this product allows the previously bitten lines to be seen through the ground, greatly facilitating additions and changes. The TRANSPARENT GROUND is identical to our HARD GROUND except for its transparency. It is applied to the heated plate in the same manner. After the desired needling and other modifications have been completed the plate is etched in the customary way.

Available in cans of 250 grs (8.8ozs)
Solvents: Turpentine, benzene, mineral spirits
This ground is applied with a roller to ground the plate's surface without interfering with previously worked and etched lines. It allows the artist to re-work areas which were under-bitten and at the same time it permits him to add new work.

HARD BALL GROUND (In lump form)
Available in lumps of 100 grs (3.3.ozs)
Solvents: Turpentine, benzene, mineral spirits
This is our traditional ball ground shaped into lump form. It is rubbed directly onto the moderately heated plate and spread thinly with a taffeta dabber. It may be smoked if the artist desires although that step is not essential to the use of this ground. When applied to a properly cleaned plate, our HARD BALL GROUND yields superior results in the intricacy of detail which may be needled into it without fear of flaking, foul biting or failure in the strongest acid baths normally used in the etching process.

SOFT GROUND (Also called Soft Wax or Ceramolle)
Available in lumps of l00grs (3.3ozs)
Solvents; Turpentine, benzene, mineral spirits
This is our traditional soft-ground shaped into lump form. It is applied to a moderately heated plate with a dabber. As the name implies, the ground remains soft on the plate and may be worked in the two traditional soft-ground techniques.
Method 1: A thin sheet of paper is placed over the soft- grounded plate after it has cooled from the heater. The artist draws directly onto the paper using a pencil, ball-point pen, stylus or other similar instrument. The pressure of the point through the paper removes the ground to a greater or lesser degree according to the paper and stylus used and the pressure applied in drawing. The resulting print, after the plate has been etched, shows a distinctly crayon-like or soft pencil- like quality in its lines and worked passages. The lines are soft and grainy rather than precise and unbroken as one would achieve by needling directly onto a hard grounded plate.
Method 2: The SOFT GROUND may also be used innovatively by pressing textures such as fabrics, leaves, twine, paper or similar materials through the ground and revealing those textures on the bare metal of the plate. The textures are pressed through the ground by placing the desired objects on the soft-grounded plate, adding a protective sheet of waxed paper on top and passing the plate through the press with slightly diminished pressure. The plate is then etched and the resulting print will show in finest detail those objects which were pressed through the soft-ground.

ROSIN POWDER (For Aquatint)
Available in bags of 5 Kgs, 1 Kg and 1/4 Kg cans (11 lbs, 2.2 Ibs and 8.5ozs)
Solvent: Methyl alcohol
This is a finely grained powder, milled from pure colophony resin (rosin) of the highest quality and is the standard of the aquatint process. It may be dusted onto the plate from bags made of stocking material, through fine sieves or with the aquatint box. After the dusted plate has been properly heated (to fix the rosin) and bitten to the desired aquatint tones the rosin is easily removed with alcohol.

SPAIN WHITE (Magnesium Carbonate)
Available in cans of 1 Kg and 1/4 Kg (2.2 lbs and 8.8 ozs) This pure, carefully milled powder serves three useful purposes for the intaglio artist;
1, for polishing and de-greasing the plate (both before ground is applied and in the final cleaning before the plate is inked);
2, in obtaining maximum whiteness in printing the plate (for hand wiping);
3, as an additive to inks to render them more siccative or to otherwise alter their viscosity.

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