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Alumigraph - materials with a variety of textures, shapes and designs are glued onto a plate, coated with alminum foil, then inked, papered and run through a print press to create relief prints
Artist Proof or AP is a print that can be identical or slightly different from the edition and usually kept by the artist. Artist Proofs generally number about 10% over the quantity of impressions in the edition.
Block Printing is an ancient printing technique where the artist carves a design into a solid block of material (such as wood, lino or styrofoam) much like a stamp. Designs may be purely visual or include text, and the block can be applied to paper, fabric or other surfaces. Once the design is complete, the block is inked with a roller. The carved areas will show up as white in the final product, while the raised portions left behind will print. The block can be used to stamp paper, the printer can place paper on the block and rub it, or the block can be mounted in a printing press. Each technique will produce a block print of a slightly different style.
Chine-collé is a collage process in printmaking where the collaged element is adhered at the time of printing. The result is that it gets sandwiched between the backing paper and the layer of ink. This process allows artists to print on delicate papers (“Chine”) imported from China. The chine is attached (“collé”) to a heavier paper support as it passes through the etching press. This gives an artist a greater variety of results; adding color and texture to a print with thin papers in a shade that differs from the backing sheet
Chop Mark is a small embossed seal impressed on each print of a finished edition, including all proofs, as a way to identify the individual artist, workshop, printer or publisher of the print edition. As dealers and collectors may also use chop marks, a print may end up having several usually at the bottom right hand corner of the paper.
Collagraph is a print made from a print plate whose design is constructed with a combination of cardboard, plexiglass, modeling paste and other glued on materials and then used as either an intaglio, relief plate, or for embossing.
Ghost is the image remaining on an inked plate after it’s been printed and not re-inked. The impression pulled from a ghost plate is called a ghost print as it will be fainter than the print that was first pulled.
Glicee Prints are superior quality digital Reproduction Prints with all the tonalities and hues of the original painting or artwork. Special light-fast inks are used which, if kept out of the sun, will remain true for 25 to 200 years depending on the archival quality of the ink.
Hand-Pulled Print: Each piece in a hand pulled edition must go through a manual printing process one stage at a time. These are not automated processes where can the artisan "run them off" like a copy machine. Each time an etching is printed all the inks must be manually reapplied and hand wiped before the next piece can be created. Stencils must be individually applied onto each print in an edition of serigraphs before the next color or pattern may be added on. Each block in a block print must be printed and re-inked for all the prints in the edition before the next block can be printed. All the pieces in an edition of stone lithographs also must be created individually. Each hand pulled print is a hand made product. A dedicated partnering of art and craft, each is considered an original.
Intaglio Print is a print technique where ink is manually applied to the artist’s hand-designed print plate then wiped off to the point where the only ink remaining is what has worked its way into the grooves and depressions of the textures and designs on the plate. A hand-pulled print is then taken.
Limited Editions or LE’s: A limit to the number of prints hand-pulled from an artist’s design matrix is crucial, as many traditional printmaking techniques can only produce a limited number of best quality impressions. This can be as few as ten or twenty for the more delicate print plate techniques, or in the low hundreds with no loss of quality for more durable print plate creation techniques. LE’s are hand signed and numbered by the artist, typically in pencil, in a fraction form. The first number is the number of the print itself. The second number is the number of overall prints the artist will print of that image. The lower the second number is, the more valuable and collectible the limited edition. The artist is bound by law not to exceed, extend or re-print the edition without altering the matrix in some way. Larger edition sizes are likely to be Reproduction Prints of original paintings or original prints. Reproduction Prints need to be distinguished from the artist's carefully produced original hand-pulled prints.
Matrix is the contact such as a block, plate, stone or screen used in printmaking is an indirect means of creating art. This is done by transferring the image from via the design matrix onto paper or fabric or other surfaces through the use of inks, paints and pressure applied to the matrix.
Mixed media is a broad category of artworks created through the application of two or more mediums or techniques.
Monoprint - A unique image created from a plate or other matrix that has the potential to print in multiple. A repeatable image that is made unique by the addition of drawing, or watercolor, or monotype, etc.
Monotype - A unique image created by the transfer of hand applied ink from a flat, smooth, unaltered surface usually to paper. A transfer painting.
Monoprint vs. Monotype Print. The process of monoprinting and monotype printing is the same: the artist applies colour directly onto a surface and then prints it by running it under a press or hand-rubbing it. Monoprints though have a pattern or part of an image which is repeated in each print. Artists may use etched plates, stencils or some kind of pattern such as lace, leaves, or fabric to add texture. Monotype prints instead are a single unique copy only. A clean smooth plate is used and images are created with nothing that can be repeatedly produced. In the rare instance that two prints can to be pulled from the same surface, one will be strong and the other weak (a ghost).
Original is an authentic or genuine work of art, and so not a copy or forgery. In printmaking it refers to the intention of the artist in that he or she desires to use a technique that produces multiples such as etching. In this case each impression is an original etching even though there is more than one. The difference is that the intention was not to make reproductions of something but rather to use a specific technique such as etching to produce an image that also creates multiples. An etching can be an original but not unique while a painting is both original and unique.
Original Print is a work of art on paper which has been conceived by the artist to be realized as a print, rather than as a reproduction of a work in another medium. In evaluating prints, note physical characteristics such as watermarks, print quality, paper quality, ink surface, estate stamps, printers’ chops, signatures, and edition numbers. The artist, title, date, image and sheet size, condition, state, paper type and quality, watermarks, and provenance all factor into the value of the work at hand.
Relief Print or RP is a print from an inked raised surface. Designs are drawn onto any surface that the artist can cut or carve into such as lino, plexiglass, styrofoam, wood, metal. After the carving/cutting is done, ink can be rolled onto the surface with a brayer (roller). The print made will be a mirror copy of the design on the original surface.
Reproduction Prints are copies of a work that originated in another medium, such as an acrylic painting or pencil drawing. Copies of an original print hand-pulled from an artists design matrix are also Reproduction Print. In particular lithographic, photogravure, rotogravure, and glicee reproductions of prints, derived from photographs of an original print are Reproduction Prints. These need to be distinguished from an artist's original print, which is carefully produced by her directly from her work. Fine art reproduction prints are copies made using archival quality ink on acid free paper, numbered and hand-signed in limited quantities.
Serigraphy: A stencil or sheet of paper, fabric, plastic, metal or any other material with designs cut out of it. Ink or paint is then forced through the design openings onto a surface to be printed. A common example would be a silk-screen printed T-shirt.
Sgraffito: Practiced in Italy since the 1730’s, Sgraffito is an old and beautiful “subtractive” method of creating images by scraping away a surface of medium in patterns and shapes to expose the underlying layer of color(s).
State: Often an artist will work on a composition to a certain point, and stop to print an impression of it. This single stage in the evolution of this image is called a state. Each time the composition is changed a new state of the print is created. These changes can range from the addition of a plate signature to drastic alterations in the composition. Today artist’s frequently choose to edition a state before moving on with the composition.
Tangle: to bring together into a mass of confusedly interlaced or intertwisted strands; a complicated condition or situation that is difficult to unravel; a twisted and tangled mass that is highly interwoven; a large seaweed of the genus Laminaria [Of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse thöngull, seaweed.]
Trial Proof (TP, or CTP for color trial proofs) are prints pulled before the print is ready to be editioned. Essentially, the artist is getting an idea of what the image looks like so they can make changes to the matrix as needed. Often times, artists will pull several of a trial proof at a certain state (indicated by state numbers, ie: Kings, 2nd State, to the left), before moving on.
Unique - One of a kind.
Varied Edition Prints are a group of hand-pulled original prints that vary from one to another. This may be from different inking techniques, colour variations, or minor changed elements. The intention with varied editions is to maintain an overall similar impression from print to print rather than significantly differing or unique images. The varied edition prints are numbered as fractions of the group along with the letters V.E.