Stippling is the creation of a pattern simulating varying degrees of solidity or shading by using small dots. Such a pattern may occur in nature and these effects are emulated by artists. In a drawing or painting, the dots are made of pigment of a single colour, applied with a pen or brush; this is similar to—but distinct from—pointillism, which uses dots of different colours to simulate blended colours. In printmaking, dots may be carved out of a surface to which ink will be applied, to produce either a greater or lesser density of ink depending on the printing technique. In engraving, the technique was invented by Giulio Campagnola in about 1510. Stippling may be used in engraving or sculpting an object when there is no ink or paint involved, either to change the texture of the object, or to produce the appearance of light or dark shading depending on the reflective properties of the surface: for instance, stipple engraving on glass produces areas that appear brighter than the surrounding glass.
The technique became popular as a means of producing shaded line art illustrations for publication, because drawings created this way could be reproduced in simple black ink. The other common method is hatching. Stippling has traditionally been favoured over hatching in biological and medical illustration, since it is less than hatching to interfere visually with the structures being illustrated, since it allows the artist to vary the density of shading more subtly to depict curved or irregular surfaces. Images produced by halftoning or dithering and computer printers operate on similar principles, but do so via photographic or digital processes rather than manually; these newer techniques have made it possible to convert continuous-tone images into patterns suitable for printing, but artists may still choose stippling for its simplicity and handmade appearance. The Wall Street Journal still features stippled and hatched portraits known as hedcuts in its pages, a holdover from its earlier avoidance of photographs.
In description of flora species, a stippling is a kind of pattern in the case of flowering plants, produced in nature that occur on flower petals and sepals. These are similar to the dot patterns in artworks that produce an intricate pattern. An example can be seen on the base of the petal insides of Calochortus luteus, a lily endemic to California; the term stipple can apply to a random pattern of small depressions applied to a surface to increase the friction and make the surface easier to grip. This process is similar to knurling or checkering, but is used on complex curved surfaces, such as anatomical grips, where a regular pattern would not fit. Stippling can be cast into plastic objects, or applied with a hammer and punch to wood or metal objects. A further use of stipple indicates the damage caused by spider mites which make tiny white spots on plant leaves which can coalesce until the entire leaf appears silvery. In quilt making, the term refers to background quilting in heirloom quilts and all-over stitching in others.
It is made freehand or with free-motion machine quilting by densely stitching through all layers in a close repetitive design. In interior decoration, the tips of the bristles of a stippling brush are dabbed onto a freshly painted wall or surface to create a subtle design in the paint; the paint hit by the points is displaced and leaves only a thin dot of paint through which a lighter layer of colour underneath will show through. In digital photography, stippling refers to image noise similar to film grain. In forensic science, stippling refers to a pattern of gunshot residue burned into the skin that results from close proximity to a discharged firearm. Media related to Stippling at Wikimedia Commons
Hendrick Goltzius was a German-born Dutch printmaker and painter. He was the leading Dutch engraver of the early Baroque period, or Northern Mannerism, lauded for his sophisticated technique, technical mastership and "exuberance" of his compositions. According to A. Hyatt Mayor, Goltzius "was the last professional engraver who drew with the authority of a good painter and the last who invented many pictures for others to copy". In the middle of his life he began to produce paintings. Goltzius was born near Venlo in Bracht or Millebrecht, a village in the Duchy of Julich, now in the municipality Brüggen in North Rhine-Westphalia, his family moved to Duisburg. After studying painting on glass for some years under his father, he learned engraving from the Dutch polymath Dirck Volckertszoon Coornhert, who lived in Cleves. In 1577 he moved with Coornhert to Haarlem in the Dutch Republic, where he remained based for the rest of his life. In the same town, he was employed by Philip Galle to engrave a set of prints of the history of Lucretia.
Goltzius had a malformed right hand from a fire when he was a baby, which turned out to be well-suited to holding the burin. In the 1580s, Goltzius with his friends van Mander and the painter Cornelis van Haarlem, founded an art academy in Haarlem in emulation of those in France and Bologna, where the human figure could be studied from life and to provide a meeting-place for artists to discuss both practice and aesthetics. At the age of 21 he married a widow eight or nine years his senior, whose money enabled him to establish an independent business at Haarlem, he returned to Haarlem in August 1591 improved in health, worked there until his death. His portraits, though miniatures, are masterpieces of their kind, both on account of their exquisite finish, as fine studies of individual character. Of his larger heads, his life-size self-portrait is the most striking example. Goltzius brought to an unprecedented level the use of the "swelling line", where the burin is manipulated to make lines thicker or thinner to create a tonal effect from a distance.
He was a pioneer of "dot and lozenge" technique, where dots are placed in the middle of lozenge shaped spaces created by cross-hatching to further refine tonal shading. Hollstein credits 388 prints with a further 574 by other printmakers after his designs. In his command of the burin, Goltzius is said to rival Dürer, he made engravings of Bartholomeus Spranger's paintings, thus increasing the fame of the latter – and his own. Goltzius began painting at the age of forty-two, he executed a few chiaroscuro woodcuts. He was the stepfather of engraver Jacob Matham, he died, aged 58, in Haarlem. Most major print rooms will have a group of Goltzius's many engravings. Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam Rijksmuseum Amsterdam Blanton Museum of Art, Austin This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Goltzius, Hendrik". Encyclopædia Britannica. Cambridge University Press. A Hyatt Mayor and People, Metropolitan Museum of Art/Princeton, 1971, ISBN 0-691-00326-2 Marjorie B.
Cohn,'An Interpretation of Four Woodcut Landscape by Hendrick Goltzius,'Print Quarterly, XXXI, June 2014, pp. 144–155. Liedtke, Walter A.. Flemish paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art. ISBN 0870993569.. Web Gallery of Art Retrieved 19-08-2008 Works and literature on Hendrick Goltzius Goltzius engravings from the De Verda collection 2
Wood engraving is a printmaking and letterpress printing technique, in which an artist works an image or matrix of images into a block of wood. Functionally a variety of woodcut, it uses relief printing, where the artist applies ink to the face of the block and prints using low pressure. By contrast, ordinary engraving, like etching, uses a metal plate for the matrix, is printed by the intaglio method, where the ink fills the valleys, the removed areas; as a result, wood engravings deteriorate less than copper-plate engravings, have a distinctive white-on-black character. Thomas Bewick developed the wood engraving technique at the end of the 18th century, his work differed from earlier woodcuts in two key ways. First, rather than using woodcarving tools such as knives, Bewick used an engraver's burin. With this, he could create thin delicate lines creating large dark areas in the composition. Second, wood engraving traditionally uses the wood's end grain—while the older technique used the softer side grain.
The resulting increased. Wood-engraved blocks could be used on conventional printing presses, which were going through rapid mechanical improvements during the first quarter of the 19th century; the blocks were made the same height as, composited alongside, movable type in page layouts—so printers could produce thousands of copies of illustrated pages with no deterioration. The combination of this new wood engraving method and mechanized printing drove a rapid expansion of illustrations in the 19th century. Further, advances in stereotype let wood-engravings be reproduced onto metal, where they could be mass-produced for sale to printers. By the mid-19th century, many wood engravings rivaled copperplate engravings. Wood engraving was used to great effect by 19th-century artists such as Edward Calvert, its heyday lasted until the early and mid-20th century when remarkable achievements were made by Eric Gill, Eric Ravilious and others. Though less used now, the technique is still prized in the early 21st century as a high-quality specialist technique of book illustration, is promoted, for example, by the Society of Wood Engravers, who hold an annual exhibition in London and other British venues.
In 15th- and 16th-century Europe, woodcuts were a common technique in printmaking and printing, yet their use as an artistic medium began to decline in the 17th century. They were still made for basic printing press work such as almanacs; these required simple blocks that printed in relief with the text—rather than the elaborate intaglio forms in book illustrations and artistic printmaking at the time, in which type and illustrations were printed with separate plates and techniques. The beginnings of modern wood engraving techniques developed at the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th century, with the works of Englishman Thomas Bewick. Bewick engraved harder woods, such as boxwood, rather than the woods used in woodcuts, he engraved the ends of blocks instead of the side. Finding a woodcutting knife not suitable for working against the grain in harder woods, Bewick used a burin, an engraving tool with a V-shaped cutting tip. From the beginning of the nineteenth century Bewick's techniques came into wider use in Britain and the United States.
Alexander Anderson introduced the technique to the United States. Bewick's work impressed him, so he reverse engineered and imitated Bewick's technique—using metal until he learned that Bewick used wood. There it was further expanded upon by his students, Joseph Alexander Adams, Besides interpreting details of light and shade, from the 1820s onwards, engravers used the method to reproduce freehand line drawings; this was, in many ways an unnatural application, since engravers had to cut away all the surface of the block to produce the printable lines of the artist's drawing. Nonetheless, it became the most common use of wood engraving. Examples include the cartoons of Punch magazine, the pictures in the Illustrated London News and Sir John Tenniel's illustrations to Lewis Carroll's works, the latter engraved by the firm of Dalziel Brothers. In the United States, wood-engraved publications began to take hold, such as Harper's Weekly. Frank Leslie, a British-born engraver who had headed the engraving department of the Illustrated London News, immigrated to the United States in 1848, where he developed a means to divide the labor for making wood engravings.
A single design was divided into a grid, each engraver worked on a square. The blocks were assembled into a single image; this process formed the basis for his Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, which competed with Harper's in illustrating scenes from the American Civil War. By the mid-19th century, electrotyping was developed, which could reproduce a wood engraving on metal. By this method, a single wood-engraving could be mass-produced for sale to printshops, the original retained without wear; until 1860, artists working for engraving had to paint or draw directly on the surface of the block and the original artwork was destroyed by the engraver. In 1860, the engraver Thomas Bolton invented a process for transferring a photograph onto the block. At about the same time, French engravers developed a modified technique in which cross-hatching was entirely eliminated. Instead, all tonal gradations were rendered by white lines of varying thickness and closeness, sometimes broken into dots for the darkest areas.
This technique appears in engravings from Gustave Doré's drawings. Towards the end of the 19th century, a combination of Bolton's'photo on wood' process and the increased t
Printmaking is the process of creating artworks by printing on paper. Printmaking covers only the process of creating prints that have an element of originality, rather than just being a photographic reproduction of a painting. Except in the case of monotyping, the process is capable of producing multiples of the same piece, called a print; each print produced is not considered a "copy" but rather is considered an "original". This is because each print varies to an extent due to variables intrinsic to the printmaking process, because the imagery of a print is not a reproduction of another work but rather is a unique image designed from the start to be expressed in a particular printmaking technique. A print may be known as an impression. Printmaking is not chosen only for its ability to produce multiple impressions, but rather for the unique qualities that each of the printmaking processes lends itself to. Prints are created by transferring ink from a matrix or through a prepared screen to a sheet of paper or other material.
Common types of matrices include: metal plates copper or zinc, or polymer plates for engraving or etching. Screens made of silk or synthetic fabrics are used for the screenprinting process. Other types of matrix substrates and related processes are discussed below. Multiple impressions printed from the same matrix form an edition. Since the late 19th century, artists have signed individual impressions from an edition and number the impressions to form a limited edition. Prints may be printed in book form, such as illustrated books or artist's books. Printmaking techniques are divided into the following basic categories: Relief, where ink is applied to the original surface of the matrix. Relief techniques include woodcut or woodblock as the Asian forms are known, wood engraving and metalcut. Intaglio, where ink is applied beneath the original surface of the matrix. Intaglio techniques include engraving, mezzotint, aquatint. Planographic, where the matrix retains its original surface, but is specially prepared and/or inked to allow for the transfer of the image.
Planographic techniques include lithography and digital techniques. Stencil, where ink or paint is pressed through a prepared screen, including screenprinting and pochoir. Other types of printmaking techniques outside these groups include collagraphy and viscosity printing. Collagraphy is a printmaking technique; this texture is transferred to the paper during the printing process. Contemporary printmaking may include digital printing, photographic mediums, or a combination of digital and traditional processes. Many of these techniques can be combined within the same family. For example, Rembrandt's prints are referred to as "etchings" for convenience, but often include work in engraving and drypoint as well, sometimes have no etching at all. Woodcut, a type of relief print, is the earliest printmaking technique, the only one traditionally used in the Far East, it was first developed as a means of printing patterns on cloth, by the 5th century was used in China for printing text and images on paper.
Woodcuts of images on paper developed around 1400 in Japan, later in Europe. These are the two areas where woodcut has been most extensively used purely as a process for making images without text; the artist draws a design on a plank of wood, or on paper, transferred to the wood. Traditionally the artist handed the work to a specialist cutter, who uses sharp tools to carve away the parts of the block that will not receive ink; the surface of the block is inked with the use of a brayer, a sheet of paper slightly damp, is placed over the block. The block is rubbed with a baren or spoon, or is run through a printing press. If in color, separate blocks can be used for each color, or a technique called reduction printing can be used. Reduction printing is a name used to describe the process of using one block to print several layers of color on one print; this involves cutting a small amount of the block away, printing the block many times over on different sheets before washing the block, cutting more away and printing the next color on top.
This allows the previous color to show through. This process can be repeated many times over; the advantages of this process is that only one block is needed, that different components of an intricate design will line up perfectly. The disadvantage is. Another variation of woodcut printmaking is the cukil technique, made famous by the Taring Padi underground community in Java, Indonesia. Taring Padi Posters resemble intricately printed cartoon posters embedded with political messages. Images—usually resembling a visually complex scenario—are carved unto a wooden surface called cukilan smothered with printer's ink before pressing it unto media such as paper or canvas; the process was developed in Germany in the 1430s from the engraving used by goldsmiths to decorate metalwork. Engravers use a hardened steel tool called a burin to cut the design into the surface of a metal plate, traditionally made of copper. Engraving using a burin is a difficult skill to learn. Gravers come in a variety of sizes that yield different line types.
The burin produces a unique and recognizable quality of line, characterized by
Engraving is the practice of incising a design onto a hard flat surface by cutting grooves into it with a burin. The result may be a decorated object in itself, as when silver, steel, or glass are engraved, or may provide an intaglio printing plate, of copper or another metal, for printing images on paper as prints or illustrations. Engraving is one of the oldest and most important techniques in printmaking. Wood engraving is not covered in this article. Engraving was a important method of producing images on paper in artistic printmaking, in mapmaking, for commercial reproductions and illustrations for books and magazines, it has long been replaced by various photographic processes in its commercial applications and because of the difficulty of learning the technique, is much less common in printmaking, where it has been replaced by etching and other techniques. "Engraving" is loosely but incorrectly used for any old black and white print. Many old master prints combine techniques on the same plate, further confusing matters.
Line engraving and steel engraving cover use for reproductive prints, illustrations in books and magazines, similar uses in the 19th century, not using engraving. Traditional engraving, by burin or with the use of machines, continues to be practised by goldsmiths, glass engravers and others, while modern industrial techniques such as photoengraving and laser engraving have many important applications. Engraved gems were an important art in the ancient world, revived at the Renaissance, although the term traditionally covers relief as well as intaglio carvings, is a branch of sculpture rather than engraving, as drills were the usual tools. Other terms used for printed engravings are copper engraving, copper-plate engraving or line engraving. Steel engraving is the same technique, on steel or steel-faced plates, was used for banknotes, illustrations for books and reproductive prints and similar uses from about 1790 to the early 20th century, when the technique became less popular, except for banknotes and other forms of security printing.
In the past, "engraving" was used loosely to cover several printmaking techniques, so that many so-called engravings were in fact produced by different techniques, such as etching or mezzotint. "Hand engraving" is a term sometimes used for engraving objects other than printing plates, to inscribe or decorate jewellery, trophies and other fine metal goods. Traditional engravings in printmaking are "hand engraved", using just the same techniques to make the lines in the plate; each graver has its own use. Engravers use a hardened steel tool called a burin, or graver, to cut the design into the surface, most traditionally a copper plate. However, modern hand engraving artists use burins or gravers to cut a variety of metals such as silver, steel, gold and more, in applications from weaponry to jewellery to motorcycles to found objects. Modern professional engravers can engrave with a resolution of up to 40 lines per mm in high grade work creating game scenes and scrollwork. Dies used in mass production of molded parts are sometimes hand engraved to add special touches or certain information such as part numbers.
In addition to hand engraving, there are engraving machines that require less human finesse and are not directly controlled by hand. They are used for lettering, using a pantographic system. There are versions for the insides of rings and the outsides of larger pieces; such machines are used for inscriptions on rings and presentation pieces. Gravers come in a variety of sizes that yield different line types; the burin produces a unique and recognizable quality of line, characterized by its steady, deliberate appearance and clean edges. The angle tint tool has a curved tip, used in printmaking. Florentine liners are flat-bottomed tools with multiple lines incised into them, used to do fill work on larger areas or to create uniform shade lines that are fast to execute. Ring gravers are made with particular shapes that are used by jewelry engravers in order to cut inscriptions inside rings. Flat gravers are used for fill work on letters, as well as "wriggle" cuts on most musical instrument engraving work, remove background, or create bright cuts.
Knife gravers are for line engraving and deep cuts. Round gravers, flat gravers with a radius, are used on silver to create bright cuts, as well as other hard-to-cut metals such as nickel and steel. Square or V-point gravers are square or elongated diamond-shaped and used for cutting straight lines. V-point can be anywhere depending on purpose and effect; these gravers have small cutting points. Other tools such as mezzotint rockers and burnishers are used for texturing effects. Burnishing tools can be used for certain stone setting techniques. Musical instrument engraving on American-made brass instruments flourished in the 1920s and utilizes a specialized engraving technique where a flat graver is "walked" across the surface of the instrument to make zig-zag lines and patterns; the method for "walking" the graver may be referred to as "wriggle" or "wiggle" cuts. This technique is necessary due to the thinness of metal used to make musical instruments versus firearms or jewelry. Wriggle cuts are found on
Intaglio is the family of printing and printmaking techniques in which the image is incised into a surface and the incised line or sunken area holds the ink. It is the direct opposite of a relief print. Copper or zinc plates are used as a surface or matrix, the incisions are created by etching, drypoint, aquatint or mezzotint. Collagraphs may be printed as intaglio plates. In intaglio printing, the lines to be printed are cut into a metal plate by means either of a cutting tool called a burin, held in the hand – in which case the process is called engraving. In etching, for example, the plate is covered in an acid-resistant wax material. Using an etching needle, or a similar tool, the image is engraved into the ground, revealing the plate underneath; the plate is dipped into acid. The acid bites into the surface of the plate. Biting is a printmaking term to describe incising, of the image. After the plate is sufficiently bitten, the plate is removed from the acid bath, the ground is removed to prepare for the next step in printing.
To print an intaglio plate, ink is applied to the surface by wiping and/or dabbing the plate to push the ink into the recessed lines, or grooves. The plate is rubbed with tarlatan cloth to remove most of the excess ink; the final smooth wipe is done with newspaper or old public phone book pages, leaving ink only in the incisions. A damp piece of paper is placed on top of the plate, so that when going through the press the damp paper will be able to be squeezed into the plate's ink-filled grooves; the paper and plate are covered by a thick blanket to ensure pressure when going through the rolling press. The rolling press applies high pressure through the blanket to push the paper into the grooves on the plate; the blanket is lifted, revealing the paper and printed image. Intaglio printmaking emerged in Europe well after the woodcut print, with the earliest known surviving examples being undated designs for playing cards made in Germany, using drypoint technique in the late 1430s. Engraving had been used by goldsmiths to decorate metalwork, including armor, musical instruments and religious objects since ancient times, the niello technique, which involved rubbing an alloy into the lines to give a contrasting color goes back to late antiquity.
Scholars and practitioners of printmaking have suggested that the idea of making prints from engraved plates may well have originated with goldsmiths' practices of taking an impression on paper of a design engraved on an object, in order to keep a record of their work, or to check the quality. Martin Schongauer was one of the earliest known artists to exploit the copper-engraving technique, Albrecht Dürer is one of the most famous intaglio artists. Italian and Dutch engraving began after the Germans, but were well developed by 1500. Drypoint and etching were German inventions of the fifteenth century by the Housebook Master and Daniel Hopfer respectively. In the nineteenth century, Viennese printer Karel Klíč introduced a combined intaglio and photographic process. Photogravure retained the smooth continuous tones of photography but was printed using a chemically-etched copper plate; this permitted a photographic image to be printed on regular paper, for inclusion in books or albums. In the 1940s and 1950s the Italian security printer Gualtiero Giori brought intaglio printing into the era of high-technology by developing the first six-colour intaglio printing press, designed to print banknotes which combined more artistic possibilities with greater security.
At one time intaglio printing was used for all mass-printed materials including banknotes, stock certificates, books and magazines, fabrics and sheet music. Today intaglio engraving is used for paper or plastic currency, banknotes and for high-value postage stamps; the appearance of engraving is sometimes mimicked for items such as wedding invitations by producing an embossment around lettering printed by another process to suggest the edges of an engraving plate. Photogravure, an intaglio photo-printmaking process Rotogravure Line engraving Viscosity printing History of printing
Steel is an alloy of iron and carbon, sometimes other elements. Because of its high tensile strength and low cost, it is a major component used in buildings, tools, automobiles, machines and weapons. Iron is the base metal of steel. Iron is able to take on two crystalline forms, body centered cubic and face centered cubic, depending on its temperature. In the body-centered cubic arrangement, there is an iron atom in the center and eight atoms at the vertices of each cubic unit cell, it is the interaction of the allotropes of iron with the alloying elements carbon, that gives steel and cast iron their range of unique properties. In pure iron, the crystal structure has little resistance to the iron atoms slipping past one another, so pure iron is quite ductile, or soft and formed. In steel, small amounts of carbon, other elements, inclusions within the iron act as hardening agents that prevent the movement of dislocations that are common in the crystal lattices of iron atoms; the carbon in typical steel alloys may contribute up to 2.14% of its weight.
Varying the amount of carbon and many other alloying elements, as well as controlling their chemical and physical makeup in the final steel, slows the movement of those dislocations that make pure iron ductile, thus controls and enhances its qualities. These qualities include such things as the hardness, quenching behavior, need for annealing, tempering behavior, yield strength, tensile strength of the resulting steel; the increase in steel's strength compared to pure iron is possible only by reducing iron's ductility. Steel was produced in bloomery furnaces for thousands of years, but its large-scale, industrial use began only after more efficient production methods were devised in the 17th century, with the production of blister steel and crucible steel. With the invention of the Bessemer process in the mid-19th century, a new era of mass-produced steel began; this was followed by the Siemens–Martin process and the Gilchrist–Thomas process that refined the quality of steel. With their introductions, mild steel replaced wrought iron.
Further refinements in the process, such as basic oxygen steelmaking replaced earlier methods by further lowering the cost of production and increasing the quality of the final product. Today, steel is one of the most common manmade materials in the world, with more than 1.6 billion tons produced annually. Modern steel is identified by various grades defined by assorted standards organizations; the noun steel originates from the Proto-Germanic adjective stahliją or stakhlijan, related to stahlaz or stahliją. The carbon content of steel is between 0.002% and 2.14% by weight for plain iron–carbon alloys. These values vary depending on alloying elements such as manganese, nickel, so on. Steel is an iron-carbon alloy that does not undergo eutectic reaction. In contrast, cast iron does undergo eutectic reaction. Too little carbon content leaves iron quite soft and weak. Carbon contents higher than those of steel make a brittle alloy called pig iron. While iron alloyed with carbon is called carbon steel, alloy steel is steel to which other alloying elements have been intentionally added to modify the characteristics of steel.
Common alloying elements include: manganese, chromium, boron, vanadium, tungsten and niobium. Additional elements, most considered undesirable, are important in steel: phosphorus, sulfur and traces of oxygen and copper. Plain carbon-iron alloys with a higher than 2.1% carbon content are known as cast iron. With modern steelmaking techniques such as powder metal forming, it is possible to make high-carbon steels, but such are not common. Cast iron is not malleable when hot, but it can be formed by casting as it has a lower melting point than steel and good castability properties. Certain compositions of cast iron, while retaining the economies of melting and casting, can be heat treated after casting to make malleable iron or ductile iron objects. Steel is distinguishable from wrought iron, which may contain a small amount of carbon but large amounts of slag. Iron is found in the Earth's crust in the form of an ore an iron oxide, such as magnetite or hematite. Iron is extracted from iron ore by removing the oxygen through its combination with a preferred chemical partner such as carbon, lost to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide.
This process, known as smelting, was first applied to metals with lower melting points, such as tin, which melts at about 250 °C, copper, which melts at about 1,100 °C, the combination, which has a melting point lower than 1,083 °C. In comparison, cast iron melts at about 1,375 °C. Small quantities of iron were smelted in ancient times, in the solid state, by heating the ore in a charcoal fire and welding the clumps together with a hammer and in the process squeezing out the impurities. With care, the carbon content could be controlled by moving it around in the fire. Unlike copper and tin, liquid or solid iron dissolves carbon quite readily. All of these temperatures could be reached with ancient methods used since the Bronze Age. Since the oxidation rate of iron increases beyond 800 °C, it is important that smelting take place in a low-oxygen environment. Smelting, using carbon to reduce iro