The tradition of printmaking in fine art is centuries old. Master printmakers are, on the one hand, traditional experts in centuries-old printing techniques, and on the other, at the forefront of innovation, adapting new technologies to expand the boundaries of the medium.
The prints in an edition should be identical, signed and numbered by the artist to indicate limited circulation. The same paper, same colors (and tones), same order of printing multiple colors, same wiping of the ink, and so on. Edition sizes are decided by the artist or agreed upon with their publisher. Once an edition has been printed, the matrix is typically ‘cancelled’ by erasure or irreversible marring so that no more prints can be made, therefore limiting the number of impressions in existence.
The intaglio printmaking techniques work by incising into the surface of a plate (metal, copper etc.) with tools or with acid. The print is produced by filling the recessed marks and lines with ink in order to transfer the image to damp paper. In the final piece, the image will print in reverse from the design on the plate and the ink will stand proud of the surface of the paper. Among intaglio techniques are engraving, etching, drypoint, aquatint, and mezzotint.
Also called serigraphy, sophisticated stenciling technique for surface printing, in which a design is cut out of paper or another thin, strong material and then printed by rubbing, rolling, or spraying paint or ink through the cut out areas. It was developed about 1900 and originally used in advertising and display work. In the 1950s fine artists began to use the process. Its name came from the fine-mesh silk that, when tacked to a wooden frame, serves as a support for the cut-paper stencil, which is glued to it. Many colours can be used, with a separate screen for each colour.
is a relief printing technique in printmaking. An artist carves an image into the surface of a block of wood—typically with gouges—leaving the printing parts level with the surface while removing the non-printing parts. Areas that the artist cuts away carry no ink, while characters or images at surface level carry the ink to produce the print.
Lino Printing is a form of block printing that involves carving a pattern or design into a linoleum, rubber or vinyl surface that can then be printed from. Lino printing is a very popular type of modern day printmaking and is beginner friendly too.
Photo-etching is the transfer of a photographic image to a light-sensitive etching plate. Once the photo-etching process is complete, the plate can be worked further as a normal intaglio plate, using drypoint, further etching, engraving, etc. The final result is an intaglio plate which is printed like any other.
Derived from the Greek word “litho” Lithography means “stone” and “graphs”, referring to writing. It is made from an image which has been applied to a flat surface. It is a method of printing based on the principle that oil and water do not mix. Printing is done from a stone (lithographic limestone) or a metal plate with a grained surface; using oil based inks. The artist works on a separate stone or plate for each colour. Traditionally this flat surface was a specially prepared limestone, but today grained aluminium printing plates and the original stones are used.
The word Giclée (“g-clay”), is derived from the French verb gicler meaning “to squirt or spray”, Giclée, is used to describe a fine art digital printing process combining pigment based inks with high quality archival quality paper to achieve Giclée prints of superior archival quality, light fastness and stability. The Giclee printing process provides better colour accuracy than other means of reproduction.
Interested in working on a more short-term basis, want a professional printmaking studio to yourself, or need help planning or printing a project? Please contact us for availability and pricing.
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