1) Etching is traditionally the process of using strong acid to cut into the unprotected parts of a metal surface to create a design in intaglio (incised) in the metal. In traditional pure etching, a metal (usually copper, zinc or steel) plate is covered with a wax which is resistant to acid. The artist then scratches off the ground with a needle or pointed stylus where he/she wants a line to appear in the finished piece, so exposing the bare metal to the acid. 2) Damascus steel is usually etched, that is subjected to an acid bath to etch the carbon steel layers to create and enhance the laminations and show the pattern. The darker the color of a layer the higher to carbon content.
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