May 11, 2004

What does all this printing stuff mean?

monoprint
The monoprint or monotype is often thought of as a half way stage
between painting and printmaking. The process is simple; the artist
paints, rubs, or wipes the design directly onto a plate using a slow -
drying paint or ink. The fleeting image must be printed before the
ink dries. Printing may be by press or hand, and as the name
monoprint implies, one can usually get only a single strong impression.
The final effect must be guessed from the outset as there will be
no trialproofs or different states unless the design is redrawn for
a second impression. This process allows the printmaker added
freedom and spontaneity. The term is used to refer to any print
made in one version and incapable of being repeated. A monoprint
cannot be editioned.

etching
An etching is a print taken from a shet of metal, usually copper
or zinc, into which the image has been bitten with acid. In a line
etching, the metal plate is first covered with an acid resistant
ground made of wax. The artist draws the image through this
groung, thus exposing the metal surface, and then immerses the
plate in an acid bath. The acid etches away the unprotected metal,
creating lines which will hold the ink. The artist may use more
complicated methods to create different effects, but always relies
on the acid to etch the plate.
An etching is an 'intaglio' print ( from the Italian word meaning to
carve or incise ). Other kinds of intaglio prints are ingravings,
drypoints and mezzotints ( here the plates are worked manually
rather than with an acid ). An intaglio print is printed on an etching
press, under pressure so that the dampened paper is actually
forced into the inked lines and textures of the plate.

aquatint
An intaglio method in which the tone and texture are
created by etching around minute particles of resin on
the surface of the plate. These melted grains act as
an acid resist and produce a tonal surface on the plate
after it has been biten with acid. Aquatint cannot
produce line and it is normally used in conjunction with
line etching.

Posted by slin at May 11, 2004 10:39 PM
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