Mezzotint is a process that starts with a ground that prints solid black. To make the image, you scrape and burnish into the dark area. To create a texture in a plate or an area of a plate, at Crown Point we sometimes use aquatint or another means of creating tooth, but traditionally you would use a mezzotint rocker. This is a tool with a curved and very fine textured blade-edge. The plate texture from a rocker, like that of drypoint, is somewhat fuzzy, because the dots throw up tiny burrs around themselves. To draw an image in a mezzotint plate, you scrape and burnish away the plate’s texture in varying degrees.

A mezzotint rocker.

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