All the artwork in this online gallery is original and made by hand. But, unlike drawing or painting, many of the processes that these artists use can be confusing. This glossary of terms is here to help an to educate. If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

 

Original Print - A hand made work of art created by transferring ink or paint to paper from a template such as
a wood block, metal plate, flat stone or silk screen. Ink is rolled on the surface of the template, adheres to the design that the artist has rendered there, and is transferred to paper using pressure. Since the transfer process can be repeated, more than one print can be made.

À la Poupée - Application of multiple colors to a single etched plate so that it can be run through the press with a single pass and produce a multi-colored etching.

Aquatint - A process similar to etching in which the ground used is porous and allows the acid bath to etch broad areas of the plate (as opposed to concise lines) giving the artist control of greater tonal range.

Chine Collé - “China glued.” A printing method that yields a two-toned paper surface for the image. A thin, colored paper is printed upon and laminated to a heavy, white printing paper in a single pass through the press.

Engraving - The oldest intaglio process. The artist uses a sharp tool called a burin to carve precise lines and dots into a metal plate. As in etching, these grooves will hold ink for subsequent printing.

Etching - Usually refers to line etching. The artist first protects a flat metal plate with an acid resistant coating called a ground. Then he scratches through the ground layer with a sharp needle to expose the metal. The plate is then submerged in a corrosive acid bath to “etch” grooves wherever the metal has been exposed. These grooves will hold ink for subsequent printing.

Intaglio - Printing processes that print ink held by pits and grooves below the surface of the plate; etching, engraving, mezzotint and aquatint.

Lithography - A planographic process based on the principle that grease and water do not mix. The artist draws with a greasy crayon on a stone (flat Bavarian limestone) and, through a series of chemical changes, the image is set on the stone. To print, ink is rolled on the sponge-dampened stone. Grease-drawn marks accept and hold the ink but the damp, undrawn areas repel the ink. The stone and paper are then passed through a press to transfer the ink to the paper.

Mezzotint - The artist works a mezzotint rocker side to side in many directions to thoroughly and uniformly roughen the metal plate. Both the countless pits in the meal and the rough burr raised up on the surface yield a dense,velvety black when printed. After rocking,the artists selectively modifies the burr with scrapers and burnishers; burnished areas will print lighter than the surrounding areas.

Monoprint - A print made by taking an already etched and inked plate and adding to the composition by manipulating additional ink on the surface of the plate. This produces a singular proof, different in appearance from any other.

Monotype - A print with an edition of one, made by drawing a design in printing ink on any smooth surface, then covering that surface with a sheet of paper and passing it through a press. he resulting image will be an exact reverse of the original drawing.

Proof - An individual print from an edition. An “Artist Proof ” is a print from the same template that is not a part of the regular edition. Often this piece is a successful image printed before the artist made

Relief - Processes that print ink from the highest surfaces of a wood or linoleum block. The artist carves away lines and shapes corresponding to the light areas of the print. The ink is rolled on the surviving, uncut areas of the block which print dark. These prints are referred to as woodcuts or linocuts.

Silkscreen - Printing processes that use stencils, attached to a stretched screen of silk or synthetic material. Ink is forced through the screen onto paper or fabric in patterns corresponding to the stencils.

 

Template - A term used for the many different types of matrixes or surfaces on which an image can be rendered for subsequent printing. The most common templates include metal plates, wood blocks, lithographic stones and silk or synthetic screens.

  • Plate - Copper, zinc or steel sheet of metal on which marks can be hand-scratched with a burin or etched with acid.
  • Stone
 - A 2-4 inch thick, precision-leveled piece of Bavarian limestone used for making stone lithographs.
  • Block - A piece of wood or linoleum-faced wood on which marks are carved for printing.

  • Screen - Silk or synthetic screen, stretched on a frame, through which ink can be forced.