Workshops Archive

Certificate in Green Printmaking: Intaglio

DSC04327Liz Chalfin, Louise Kohrman, Nancy Diessner, Lynn Peterfreund, Joyce Silverstone and Peter Pettengill
July 11-31, 2015, 10-5 daily with open studio time until 10 PM

Before May 1st: $2300 non-members, $2100 members
After May 1st: $2500 non-members, $2250 members
$1000 deposit to reserve space.
registration fee includes all materials (plates, paper, ink, etc.)

After fifteen years of research and practice in safer intaglio, Zea Mays Printmaking is offering an intensive summer Certificate Program to train printmakers in the latest, best practices in safer intaglio. The Green Printmaking Certificate: Intaglio consolidates our knowledge about etching and photopolymer intaglio into an intensive 3-week training program.

What is it?
An intensive 105+ hour training in safer intaglio practices, including:

  • Etching on copper in Ferric Chloride with BIG ground including: hard ground, soft ground, lift grounds, alternative aquatints, marbling.
  • Etching on copper in Ferric Chloride with airbrush sprayed aquatints, including tray, vertical tank and spit bite etching.
  • Etching on zinc and aluminum in Copper Sulfate with BIG ground and spray and direct aquatints.
  • Photo transfer methods onto metals including iron-on film.
  • Photopolymer Intaglio methods using Toyobo Printight plates developed in water.
  • Professional printing methods (press setting, paper and ink preparation and troubleshooting printing problems).
  • Ink tutorials: modification and use of oil and water-based printing inks.
  • How to set up a green printmaking studio including what supplies to purchase and where, safety issues, budgets and how to maintain and manage a studio.

Who is it for?

  • Printmakers who have been trained in conventional, solvent- and acid-based intaglio printmaking techniques who want to transform their practice using less toxic materials and methods.
  • Printmakers who are currently working in safer practices and want to gain more experience and deepen their skills.
  • Those not yet trained in intaglio who would like to start a printmaking practice using safe methods.

What will the Certificate Prepare you for?

  • Printmakers participating in the Green Printmaking Certificate program will be trained using the vast amount of technical research that Zea Mays has conducted, documented and practiced since the studio’s founding in 2000. An individual who passes through this program successfully would be in a good position to implement less-toxic intaglio methods in a college or university as a technical assistant or a faculty member, start a printmaking program using safer practices at a college, university, or secondary school, set up a public printmaking studio using less toxic processes, or work toward becoming a master printmaker.


  • Liz Chalfin, studio director and ZMP core faculty with specialty in intaglio and studio set-up and management.
  • Louise Kohrman, ZMP core faculty with specialty in intaglio and chine colle.
  • Nancy Diessner, ZMP core faculty with specialty in photopolymer intaglio printmaking.
  • Joyce Silverstone, ZMP core faculty with specialty in monotype, Akua Ink Demonstration Artist.
  • Lynn Peterfreund, ZMP core faculty with specialty in monotype, intaglio and animation.
  • Peter Pettengill, Master Printer, Wingate Studio, Hinsdale, NH.

Daily Schedule:  
The 3-week intensive will consist of demonstrations and plenty of time for participants to make plates, proof and experiment, with faculty support.  Participants will receive a binder of Zea Mays technical handouts and resources. Class hours are from 10-5. The studio will remain open until 10 PM so participants can continue working on their own.  There are four Open Studio days built into the program for long stretches of work time or time to explore the area or relax.

July 11 – Introduction/Overview & plate preparation
July 12 – Hardground and Softground Etching with BIG ground
July 13 – Aquatints: airbrush, sandpaper, experimental
July 14 – Lift Grounds
July 15 – Technical Critique and Open Studio day
July 16 – Iron-on Photo Transfer for Etching
July 17 – Open Studio day
July 18 – Open Studio day
July 19 – Etching Zinc and Aluminum with Copper Sulfate
July 20 – Etching Zinc and Aluminum with Copper Sulfate
July 21 – Technical Critique and Open Studio day
July 22 – Photopolymer Intaglio
July 23 – Photopolymer Intaglio
July 24 – Photopolymer Intaglio
July 25 – Photopolymer Intaglio
July 26 – Technical Critique and Open Studio day
July 27 – Printing Strategies
July 28 – Ink lab
July 29 – Open Studio day
July 30 – Open Studio day
July 31 – Setting up a Green Studio + wrap up

Limited to 8 participants

$1000 deposit ‐ Non‐Members

$1000 deposit‐ Members


$1000 deposit will hold your space.  Balance due June 1, 2015
payment plans are available to spread the cost over several months – contact for details.

Several members of Zea Mays Printmaking have offered rooms in their homes or “in-law” apartments for rent to workshop participants.  Email for a list.  Visit the accommodations page on our website for other options.

Over the years we have consulted with independent and college-based printmaking studios across the United States and helped them convert their studios and practices. Dozens of artists and printmaking faculty members have taken short workshops to learn specific techniques and introduced these methods to their students and fellow artists.

What a few of them have said:

“Informed by Liz Chalfin’s delight in the art of printmaking, her demand for high quality instruction, her research into new techniques, and her dedication to safe practices, Zea Mays is an extraordinary resource for artists and teachers.  Workshops are serious, friendly, informative, and useful to printmakers at all levels of experience.  The new studio is amazing.  Faculty, students, artist members, and interns at Zea Mays evidence a rare generosity of spirit, taking real pleasure in shared knowledge.  Liz has worked successfully with master printers, scientists, and printmaking communities across the country and abroad.  She and her faculty back up their enthusiasm with hard facts and professional technique.  Their instruction is clear and patient, their ambition for the art contagious.  Liz recently spent a day in Dartmouth’s printmaking studio, teaching faculty many uses of the BIG ground.   Demonstrations in our space made the new methods seem more attainable somehow (if she can do it here, we can too) and her extensive written instructions were of great help and comfort after she left.   Her signature good humor was icing on the cake.  We had a great time, and our students will be the beneficiaries of all that Liz so generously passed along.”
-Louise Hamlin, George Frederick Jewett Professor of Studio Art, Dartmouth College

“I was fortunate to have begun, in May 2012, a discussion with Liz about the use of water based printing inks. From there, our discussion turned to the broader question of studio practice. I did not know at the time that there was an evolving “green” experience in printmaking.   Coincidentally, our high school Art department was discussing the idea of removing many of the toxic materials used in our printmaking courses. Without hesitation, I signed on to a summer workshop, and a subsequent tutorial with Liz, to begin a structured, guided move to new.
At Zea Mays I was able to familiarize myself with BIG (Baldwin’s Ink Ground), etching zinc in copper sulfate, etching copper with ferric, and experiment with many specific BIG techniques on both plates.   I was able to restructure my curriculum, order and reorganize my supplies, and “green” my classroom. The start to the new school year was a profoundly satisfying experience for my Advanced Printmaking students and this instructor.”
-Kristen Elmes, Art Department, Palmer (MA) High School

“Liz Chalfin of Zea Mays Printmaking came to Honolulu, Hawaii as a visiting artist and juror to Honolulu Printmakers Studio in 2014.  Our workshop exploring Intaglio printmaking using Baldwin Ink Grounds (BIG) radically overhauled and updated our studio practices in less than a year. Following our workshop, my excitement was so great, I had trouble sleeping thinking of the possibilities for cleaning up our lovely yet toxic studio. I immediately went to work teaching the BIG materials to our printers and we have since developed our whole Intaglio program around Zea Mays teachings. Eliminating the need for many of the solvents, grounds and toxic materials used for clean up. Our studio is a safer healthier environment for all our printers. My experience working side by side with Liz Chalfin was life changing. It inspired me to take my passion for safer printmaking to the next level and to become and expert in the field. I look forward to working closely with Zea Mays Printmaking in the future to enhance and develop my skill set as a safer alternatives leader. “
-Denise Karabinus, Intaglio Instructor, Honolulu Museum of Art School, Honolulu Printmakers

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