2012 – Ink This! Printmaking and Works from the Permanent Collection

LEFT: New Birth (2007) by Yuji Hiratsuka, TSCPL Permanent Collection; intaglio and chine-collé. RIGHT: Tools and plates used in various intaglio processes: engravings, etchings, drypoints, mezzotints and aquatints.

October 22, 2012 – January 20, 2013
Hirschberg Gallery 

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:

  • Relief 
  • Intaglio
  • Planographic 
  • Screen printing 

Each process has a unique look and feel. These examples show how these prints are made and some of their characteristics.

Relief Process

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.

Intaglio Process

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.

Planographic Process

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.

Serigraphic Process

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.

Michael Perkins

Multimedia Producer and Visual Artist at the library. Painter of the Kids Library Mural and 3D scapes, Designer of the Learn and Play Bus and AdventureMobile. When not at work you can find me drawing, making stuff out of wood and getting into trouble.