Today there are many categories and sub categories of printmaking. However, we can basically break these into five major areas or principals. These are Giclee, Relief, Intaglio, Lithography and Serigraph.
Each print is hand signed & numbered by the artist and is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity.
The Definition :Giclee (zhee-klay) - The French word "giclée" is a feminine noun that means a spray or a spurt of liquid. The word may have been derived from the French verb "giclee" meaning "to squirt". The Term :The term "giclee print" connotes an elevation in printmaking technology. Images are generated from high resolution digital scans and printed with archival quality inks onto various substrates including canvas, fine art, and photo-base paper. The giclee printing process provides better color accuracy than other means of reproduction. The Process :Giclee prints are created typically using professional 8-Color to 12-Color ink-jet printers. Among the manufacturers of these printers are vanguards such as Epson, MacDermid Colorspan, & Hewlett-Packard. These
modern technology printers are capable of producing incredibly detailed prints for both the fine art and photographic markets. Giclee prints are sometimes mistakenly referred to as Iris prints, which are 4-Color ink-jet prints from a printer pioneered in the late 1970s by Iris Graphics. The Quality : The quality of the giclee print rivals traditional silver-halide and gelatin printing processes and is commonly found in museums, art galleries, and photographic galleries. The Market : Numerous examples of giclee prints can be found in New York City at the Metropolitan Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Chelsea Galleries.
Relief: Relief is the oldest form of printmaking. The earliest relief printmaking on paper goes back to the woodcuts of China, dating back to the 8th Century. Woodcuts appeared in Europe much later, in the 15th Century.The basic principle of relief printing is to create an image on paper from the raised surface of the matrix. The artist draws onto a surface (the block or matrix) and then cuts away the areas that are not raised to form part of the image. These areas are the negative parts of the image, or the spaces around what we see generally consider to be the image. Thus the ink only reaches the areas the artist does not touch. The block is inked and a piece of paper laid over it. The artist then either rubs the paper using their hand or a hard, smooth object, or he runs it through a printing press. The image produced on the paper mirrors that on the block. Woodcuts and linocut are the most common examples of relief prints.
Intaglio: Intaglio is the precise opposite of relief printmaking. In this process the artist carves the image onto the matrix and then rubs ink into these carved lines, making sure that the untouched areas are cleaned of ink. In the intaglio process the paper is previously soaked in water. When it is laid over the matrix and the squashed through the printing press, the soft paper is pushed into the grooves of the inked lines, thus transferring the image onto the paper. Many intaglio processes involve creating the grooves with acids that eat into a metal plate. Variations of the Intaglio technique include Engraving, Etching, Aquatint, and Mezzotint. Lithography: The distinct advantage of lithography is that a large number of prints can be made form any single matrix, without the image deteriorating in quality. Lithography was invented by Aloysius Senefelder (1771 – 1834), in Bavaria. The concept of lithography is based on the mutual incompatibility of oil and water; the capacity of limestone to absorb and retain water and the disposition of oily substances to adhere to limestone. The highly polished nature of the surface is receptive to the oil that is spread over it. Senefelder discovered that by chemically treating the surface of limestone, and drawing onto it with a grease crayon, only the areas touched by the grease crayon would take the printing ink. Therefore, by drawing onto the treated stone in this way, inking it, covering it with a damp paper and running it through a printing press, the image is transferred exactly onto the paper. Nowadays the technique is applied using a metal plate. This should not be confused with today’s offset lithography, which is how most brochures, newspapers, promotional materials and cheep prints are printed by the thousands. Serigraphy: All serigraphic prints are based on the concept of stencil. The stencil technique uses a thin sheet of impenetrable, durable material with a design cut into it. This is placed over a receiving surface (paper, canvas, etc.). Thus the paint or dye applied over the surface of the stencil only reaches the receiving surface where the design has been cut away.The techniques of stencil developed into Screen-printing in the UK in the 1920s. However, it did not become widely used until the 1960s, when Pop Art had its debut with Andy Warhol.
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