Workshops Archive

Green Printmaking Certificate: Intaglio

black ink lab

Liz ChalfinLouise Kohrman
July 6-29, 2018, 9-4 daily with open studio time until 9 PM
Before May 1st: $2750 non-members, $2500 members
After May 1st: $3000 non-members, $2750 members

$1000 deposit to reserve space.
registration fee includes all materials (plates, paper, ink, etc.) and extensive binder of handouts.

This workshop is full.  Call to put your name on the waiting list.

After seventeen 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 into an intensive 24-day training program.

What is it?
An intensive 150+ hour training in safer intaglio practices, including:

  • Etching on copper in ferric chloride with BIG ground including: hard ground, soft ground, lift grounds, white grounds, marbling and alternative aquatints.
  • Acrylic Airbrush Aquatints including tray, vertical tank and spit bite etching.
  • Etching on copper with Soy Wax softground.
  • Etching on aluminum in copper sulfate mordant.
  • Photo transfer methods onto metals including iron-on film and BIG transfer.
  • Chine Colle and non-rag paper printing
  • Phil Qian grounding plates

    Professional printing methods (press setting, paper and ink preparation, editioning and curation, press calibration, and troubleshooting printing problems).

  • Ink tutorials: modification and use of oil and water-based printing inks.
  • Technical critiques: learning from one another’s experiences.
  • 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, set up a home studio, or work toward becoming a master printmaker.


  • Liz Chalfin

    Katie Rubin’s proofs

    , 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.
    “The Green Printmaking Certificate: Intaglio program is the highlight of my teaching at Zea Mays Printmaking year after year. I love planning for it throughout the year and eagerly anticipate that first day in July when the group comes together to embark on what will be an (almost) 1 month-long intensive, creative journey.  This comprehensive workshop provides an incredibly transformative experience where dedicated artists, teachers, printmakers, practitioners and students from varied backgrounds come together to learn over a shared purpose—safer practices in the intaglio studio. I cherish the bonds and friendships that are formed as artists work together in a co-teaching environment through presentations, demonstrations, experimentations, and hands-on trials. Getting to work with and teach a group of dedicated artists in such a concentrated way is an exhilarating and humbling experience.” – Louise Kohrman
    “Sharing what we know is at the core of Zea Mays’ mission.  This program is an opportunity to share the ins and outs of etching.  It’s one of the only workshops I teach anymore and I look forward to it every year.  The ability to go deep with a group of engaged artists is a thrill”  – Liz Chalfin

experimental etching plate

Daily Schedule:  
The 24-day 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 9-4. The studio will remain open until 9 PM so participants can continue working on their own. We also may go bowling or out together an evening or two!  There are three days off built into the program for time to relax or explore the area which includes world class museums and wonderful outdoor experiences.

July 6 –   introductions and presentations + plate preparation
July 7 –   BIG etching ground for hard ground applications, chemistry of ferric chloride, press calibration
July 8 –   BIG etching ground for soft ground applications
July 9 –   day off
July 10 – Artist presentations and work day
July 11 – BIG sandpaper aquatint and marbling
July 12 – Artist presentations and work day
July 13 – Acrylic Aquatint and Stop Outs – step etching and spit bite etching
July 14 – Lift Grounds and White Grounds
July 15 – Artist presentations and work day – evening potluck with ZMP members
July 16 – day off
July 17 – Black Ink Lab (oil based inks)

spit bite exploration

July 18 – Soy Wax Softground
July 19 – Color Ink Lab (oil based inks) and printing strategies
July 20 – Aluminum in copper sulfate – photo transfer with BIG, chemistry of copper sulfate
July 21 – Aluminum in copper sulfate – photo transfer with iron-on film
July 22 – work day
July 23 – day off
July 24 – Experimental Etching
July 25 – Ink Lab (water-washable inks)
July 26 – Chine Colle and non-rag papers
July 27 – work day
July 28 – Print curating and drying
July 29 – How to build a green studio/graduation

Limited to 8 participants

$1000 deposit will hold your space.  Balance due June 1, 2018
Payment plans are available to spread the cost over sevceral months – contact for details.


We have 2 bedrooms in the on-site guest suite available for rent.  In addition, a few Zea Mays Printmaking members/friends 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.

from previous years’ participants in the Green Printmaking Certificate: Intaglio program:

“I am so glad I came to your life-changing (and giving) program!  All of the instructors were so open, gracious and thoughtful and kind in their approaches. All of the demonstrations were beneficial.  I learned special techniques or tips/tricks in each, even in processes I was already familiar with.”

“Really fantastic! Everything was so professional and well thought out.  I loved every moment”

“I have a much better understanding of green printmaking practices.  I feel very empowered to continue these practices both teaching and in my own work.”

“I loved every moment with you all!  Thank you for sharing all of your knowledge and passion.  I think I learned more here in a month that I did in 6 years of art school.”

“My overall experience was very positive.  It was very valuable to have the concentrated time for exploration of all the techniques with a great group of people.”

“Incredibly transformative.  Not only did I learn a wealth of technical information and resources, but it provided me with the confidence and supportive community to pursue a green practice back at home.”

“I think the studio is a fantastic place – it’s warm and inviting.  We were given lots of space to work.  I’m thrilled to have the binder and to have been exposed to all the materials.  I appreciate that all the materials were included.”