anastatic printing definition

Anastatic printing is a relief printing method that leaves behind the sections/marks/lines that need to be inked - in other words, everything except the printing section of the plate is etched.   This process is different from etching (an intaglio printing method). Zinc etching is among the best known anastic printing methods.  Asphalt varnish is used to paint the design on a zinc plate.  Then the plate is held in a mordant bath of dilute nitric acid after the varnish dries.  This causes the areas that are not for printing to be bitten away.  The artist William Blake (1757 - 1827) created all kinds of picture illustrations and texts using anastatic printing.