October 22, 2012 – January 20, 2013
When it comes to art we all know what a “painting” is, even if we have never tried to make one ourselves. But when we see or hear the word “print” we are not quite sure what it means. There are many different ways to make a print.
Simply defined, prints are produced by drawing or carving an image onto a hard surface (known as the matrix) such as a wood block, metal plate, or stone. This surface is then inked and the image is transferred to paper by the application of pressure, thus creating an impression, or print.
There are four general categories of printmaking:
- Screen printing
Each process has a unique look and feel. These examples show how these prints are made and some of their characteristics.
In the relief print process the image is printed from the raised surface of the matrix (the printing plate or block). The most common types of relief prints are woodcuts, linoleum cut, wood engravings and stamps.
In Italian, Intaglio means to cut into or engrave. In the intaglio print process the image areas are depressed below the surface of the matrix. The most common types of intaglio prints are engravings, etchings, drypoints, mezzotints and aquatints.
In the planographic processes the printing surface is neither raised nor depressed but is a flat surface. Lithography, the most common of the planographic processes, is Greek for drawing on stone.
Serigraphy, also known as silk-screen printing, is a stencil process where the stencil is affixed to a fine mesh of silk or other fabric, known as a screen. Prints made in this process are also called screen prints.