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ART 4CI3 Concentrated Study - Intaglio

Academic Year: Winter 2018

Term: Spring

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Prof. Briana Palmer


Office: Togo Salmon Hall 429A

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 23155

Office Hours: by appointment

Course Objectives:

Course Description

This upper level advanced course which provides a concentration study on the various intaglio processes, exploring traditional and alternative approaches including hand-drawn, found impression, hard/soft grounds, aquatint, through the processes of etching using ferric chloride, which students learned in ART 3CI4. During this course students will hone and develop a deeper understanding of the etching processes through extensive research activity, as well as, explore the photographic applications in etching.

Due to the nature of this course it is mandatory that students attend every class. There are demonstrations/ lab instruction regarding materials, and techniques used in the studios environment.

If a student is absent from class they must follow McMaster’s policy for missed classes. Students missing classes due to team sports, work or other will not be able to proceed with the technique demonstrated during their absents. Missing classes with out good reason will result in a failing grade as demonstrations are not repeated. Fellow students are not able to give demonstrations. If a student is unclear on how to use a piece of equipment or material they must ask the instructor or the studio art technologist.

Please leave your friends, pets, families at that the door.

Project Criteria

Students must utilize the techniques learned during the duration of the course.


Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

Studio Fees

The studio fee of 100.00 provides students with the basic materials necessary for this class. Materials will be given to each student at the beginning of term. Students must pay the SOTA office before receiving the etching materials. Please note the studio fees only covers the basics and is an introduction to the materials so students can sample various materials/ mediums. The school is able to purchase the supplies in bulk, which reduces the cost. Students should be aware that these supplies do not cover all cost and materials and it is the responsibility of the student to replenish if needed, and come to prepared with paper and drawing media. If materials have been given and lost they will not be replaced. You may also choose to add to your etching materials with your own tools and inks.

There are no text books required for this course.



Method of Assessment:

Educational Objectives/Outcomes

1. Demonstrate advanced knowledge of materials and techniques acquired through the duration of this course through the completion of image making for projects as well as in the learning portfolio

2. Demonstrate advanced knowledge of studio etiquette and health and safety in the studio environment, students must demonstrate how to use the equipment and procedures during class time.

3. Demonstrate independent study and creative thinking through development of ideas and materials.

4. Demonstrate a willingness to explore new techniques/processes, undertake challenges in order to expand personal boundaries and creative outcomes.

5. Demonstrate research practices both historical and contemporary, which inform the artwork(s) from various sources, such as: the museum collections, galleries, sketchbook, library, and journals.

6. Participation in in-class discussions and critiques.

Evaluation: The criteria for grading is as follows:

Resolution/completion of project(s): the development of work(s)

through explorations of materials and ideas express through drawing, plans and/or the reworking of the works in progress, a full development of ideas and investigation.

Innovation/creativity: the work must exhibit an exploration of visual language through the visual imagery as well as the concepts that are expressed in the work(s).

Conceptual Knowledge: an understanding of the imagery and concepts should correspond with concepts ideas, that students are researching in other studio courses such as ART 3GS3 AND ART 4AS6.

Technical skill: students must demonstrate an advanced the ability to execute works that they have learned through technical demonstrations of this course.

The quantity of exploration parallels the potential for learning. If a student demonstrates the technique taught, they have met the requirement for a pass in the course. However, if one would like to exceed the basic requirements, an intensive exploration of image making must occur. This means multiple printings, broad experimentation, imagery that explores ideas as well as technique, an integration of processes and complexity of approach. Please see grading achievement levels for a further break down of grade.

Project Outlines Requirements and Due Dates:

Etching Portfolio:

The etching portfolio is a way for students to build on the skills/ techniques that they learned in ART 3IS3. There is no standard format for the etching portfolio, the creative aesthetics of this portfolio is entirely up to the students, however it must contain weekly records of class activity (demonstration notes) documentation of research relevant to the students practice, critical reflection, as well as a rigorous and focused practice which incorporates the an exploration of the mediums/ techniques in etching. The etching portfolio is an ongoing investigation and students should utilize this portfolio as a way to demonstrate and experiment with creating complex images to maximize the range and diversity of image making through various etching techniques and multiple plate printing.

Grading of etching  portfolio:

10% of the grade will be given on Feb 12th

50% of the grade will be given at year end April 2nd the learning portfolio should include all the exploration and experimentation of developing various images for the projects and for ones own explorations of the print media.

Project one 20 % April 2nd

Please see the website for the print competition BIMPE at, for complete instructions which student must follow to complete a least one print to submit to this competition. Etching must be used in the processes however students can also add other print techniques as well.

Project two 20% March 5th

Students are required to create 1 or 2 prints, depending on the complexity of the images to create an edition portfolio for the class. One of these works will be used for the portfolio edition. The work for this should be an exploration through the learning portfolio etching must be used in the process however students can also add other print techniques. The critique of the prints will be due on March 2nd however the final submission of the prints will be on the last day of classes

April 9th. I will re evaluate and grade the final submission of the print if changed or has altered from March 2. This gives students 4 weeks to print the edition.


A mid term grade of 10% of the learning portfolio will be given no later than Feb 29th however, if students wish to have further feedback on their works through out the term, please make an appointment during my office hours.


Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

Late Admissions

Scheduled critiques for the presentation of your work are the equivalent of exams. Projects that are not presented by the student during their scheduled critique or on the deadline day will result in an automatic 0. In cases where a MSAF has been submitted, late assignments will be graded but not discussed at an alternative critique session. No assignment will be accepted beyond one week past the deadline without communication from the Dean of Humanities’ office. Late thesis papers and logs will be subject to penalization of 5% per day with no submission beyond one week late.

Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Dishonesty

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.

Topics and Readings:

There are no readings for this course.  I will have the McMaster University pull etchings from their print collection, the Museum is closed on Mondays however I will make arragngemnts to meet students on Tuesday afternoon from 1:45 to 2: 30 and Wed 1pm to 1:30. to see the collection.  



Other Course Information:

Office Hours

Office hours are intended to provide additional assistance. You are welcome to visit often to discuss course projects or seek assistance on difficulties you may be experiencing. It is always better to deal with an issue while there is still time remaining in the term to seek solutions. Office hours are not a replacement class for those opting to miss class time without valid excuse. Office hours will not provide feedback sessions if you miss a critique deadline. It is important that you learn to manage your time. Of course, extenuating circumstances may sometimes occur, and requests for accommodation should be discussed with the instructor a.s.a.p.

Working in the studio

It is mandatory for the studio arts students to have read this manual.

Studio Safety Art Manual for Students website:

The studio are for art students in the program, if you have a special project that requires someone from outside of the program to be in the studios, you must see the technologist or a professor for permission. There is no food or drink permitted in any of the studio spaces, and steel-toed shoes must be worn in the studios at all times. If a student is not wearing steel -toed boots they will be asked to leave, continual occurrence of no steel toes will result in loss of studio access. Do not bring any chemicals or other materials into the studios with out the permission of the studio technologist or instructor. Do not decant any materials into food containers, use a sealable container and re- label the container to reflect what is in the container. Each year the studio has to take unlabeled containers to hazardous waste which is very costly and is direct loss of studio funding for other material or equipment.

If a student should have an accident in any of the studio, the incident, (no matter how minor) must be reported to a faculty member, or the studio technologist within 24 hours. If there is no faculty or technician is available, and immediate attention is needed please call 88 for all emergencies. Do not hesitate to call 88 in any circumstance, please do not make medical judgments for yourself or others, let a medical professional make the decisions necessary.

Clean up after you are finished.

Clean up of studios at year end- Tuesday Apirl 10th th at 9am

Students must participate with the cleaning of the studios; if a student cannot attend they are to see the technologist or instructor for a clean up task before hand.

McMaster University Grading scale

Grade Equivalent Grade

Point Equivalent Percentages

A+ 12 90-100, A 11 85-89, A- 10 80-84

B+ 9 77-79, B 8 73-76, B- 7 70-72

C+ 6 67-69, C 5 63-66, C- 4 60-62

D+ 3 57-59, D 2 53-56, D- 1 50-52

F 0 0-49



A+ = 90–100; A = 85–89; A- = 80–84

Work assessed at the A level consistently exceeds expectations and exhibits the following:

Conceptual rigour

Deep critical engagement

Complex, ambitious and prolific production

Meets deadlines with time for reflection before presentation

Advanced technical proficiency and risk taking

Comprehensively researched responses linked to focused goals, personal interests and artistic vision

Independent and self-directed approaches

Highly professional presentations

Engagement with all aspects of the course (requires promptness and stellar attendance)


B+ = 77–79; B = 73–76; B- = 70–72

Work assessed at the B level consistently meets expectations and exhibits the following:

Good grasp of concepts

Evidence of developing critical skills

Meets deadlines

Technically sound, demonstrating sensitivity to materials and their connection to ideas

Evolving research skills and good understanding of personal goals and interests

Some independence, self-motivation and risk-taking evident

Satisfactory presentation

Engaged with most aspects of the course


C+ = 67–69; C = 63–66; C- = 60–62

Work assessed at the C level fails to meet some expectations and exhibits some or all the following:

Inconsistent grasp of concepts

Little evidence of critical skills

Work is regularly late or presented in an undeveloped state

Struggling with technical skills, and conservative approach to exploration and risk

Requires regular assistance to understand assignments

Unsatisfactory presentation (unprepared, late)

Minimal engagement with course (poor attendance, few contributions evident)


D+ = 57–59; D = 53–56; D- = 50–52

Work assessed at the D level consistently falls short of expectations and exhibits some or all of the following:

Significant struggle with concepts and objectives

No evidence of critical skills

Missed deadlines

Simplistic technical approach with little sensitivity to materials

Arbitrary or no research evidence

Unacceptable presentation (inappropriate or wastes the time of the group)

Unsatisfactory engagement with course


F = 0–49

Work assessed at the F level fails to meet enough of the course requirements to obtain credit. Studio Art is a hands-on learning experience. Students who miss more than 3 classes or 25% of the course risk a failing grade due to the impact of this percentage on their ability to demonstrate abilities during in-class activities.

The success of studio courses is dependent on the active engagement of all participants. Learning is accelerated in a hands-on environment where work and ideas can be discussed as they evolve and challenges and successes can be shared. Important health and safety information and safe operating procedures are communicated during class time. You must receive this information to work independently in the studio and you may not operate any equipment or use any process that you have not received safety training for. Class Discussions and Critiques empower individuals to take risks in their art practice and learn from each other. It is of utmost importance that all students participate fully by attending all classes and remaining welcoming and open to all points of view. The atmosphere of the studio should be characterized by courtesy and mutual respect. Participating in group critiques is an important part of providing constructive feedback for your peers. Active questioning and differences of opinion, respectfully expressed in a spirit of collaboration and mutual exchange, contribute to a positive and supportive group dynamic. It is your responsibility to contribute positively in this shared space and come to class prepared, on time and ready to contribute to the activities of the day. Attendance at Visiting Artist talks represents a component of this category. Evidence of participation must be in the log/sketchbook.

A list of what your studio fees cover that is communal in the studio


Baby oil


Inks (each can of ink ranges from 20.00 to 30)


Towels for blotting


Platte knives

Inking cards


Hand cleaner

Cleaning supplies


Ferric Chloride

Fiber tape

Plate backing

The cost of the above mentioned would be more than the studio fee for each student if students had to purchase their own supplies. Please use the communal supplies responsibly.