Dead Metal. In engraving or etching, metal that is unwanted and intended to be removed from the surface of a metallic object or die. It is the metal that is to be cutaway (as with hand tools, chisel, burin, engraver, or power burrs), to be removed by machine routing or milling, or to be dissolved away by acid etching. Dead metal is what is removed to create the negative area of an intaglio design, the background cut away in a cameo or relief design, or the cavities cut by a die-engraving pantograph.
excerpted with permission from
For Artists, Makers, Collectors and Curators
COMPILED AND WRITTEN BY D. WAYNE JOHNSON
Roger W. Burdette, Editor