MAU Art & Design Glossary

Kakiron, Keshiron


Kakiron, Keshiron

Kakiron (touch up pen) and keshiron (eraser pen) are pen-type tools for making corrections to finished plates used in metal lithography. Since both these instruments rely on chemical reactions, they do not require conventional surface treatment on the metal plates after the corrections are made, and are used as emergency measures. (Similar kakiron and keshiron products are sold by several manufacturers.)

Kakiron contains chemicals including lacquer and is used to retouch the design on a finished plate. The chemicals create a strong resinous film to make the ink stick on a plate which has already been desensitized. This eliminates the need for surface treatment and platemaking associated with the conventional retouch process. Gum Arabic etc. on the section to be amended must be wiped off completely with water, and the plate surface dried, before the revisions are made. Care must be exercised because applying two coats, or insufficient cleaning and drying before and after touch up, could weaken the plate’s printing durability. Since it comes in the shape of a pen, it is suitable for painting over and filling gaps, but conventional retouching is required when adding finer details or creating crayon effects.

Keshiron, on the other hand, is a pen-type abrasive containing chemicals to erase drawings. Because it does not scrape off the plate surface like pumice stone does, desensitization treatment using etching solutions, which needed in the conventional erasing process, is not required. The part to be erased simply needs to be rubbed off lightly. The grimy liquid produced in the process should be wiped off with a spongeBoth these tools should be used in a well-ventilated location and if they get on the hands or skin, they should be rinsed off immediately with water.

Kakiron and keshiron can be purchased at art supply and printing supply stores selling printmaking tools.