Etchings use acid to cut through the
copper or zinc plate. First the plate is covered with an acid-resistant ground.
The lines are carved or scratched into the ground with a stylus or sharp needle
to reveal the plate below. Then the plate is immersed in an acid bath which
"bites" into the metal along the lines. Finally, the ground is
removed. Ink is applied to the surface and wiped away leaving it only in the
incised lines. Dampened paper is applied and as the paper and plate run through
the press, the paper "reaches" into the inked lines to reveal the
image print. The inking process must be repeated for each print.
Collagraph, a print produced by applying items (natural or found, as in a collage) on a print plate, and then inking the surface. The print may be made using either an intaglio or relief process.
Dry point is an intaglio printmaking
technique, in which an image is incised into a plate with a diamond point
stylus. Traditionally the plates were copper, but I often use zinc plates,
also. The image is printed when the inked plate and damp paper are hand-pulled
through my studio press.
Mezzotints are also created on a
metal plate. The entire surface is roughed with a spiked tool call a “rocker”
that rocks back and forth to cover the entire surface with cross-hatched lines.
(If the plate were inked at this point it would be totally black.) The artist
burnished areas of the plate by rubbing away the surface texture. This technique
allows the artist to create subtle gradations of tone. The plate is usually
printing in a manner similar to that of an etching.
Hand-color: I add color to each image
individually, using watercolor or colored pencil.
Relief Prints are made by
carving areas of a block away to form the desired image. The final image is
created by inking the raised portion of the block. The block may be pressed by
hand directly onto the paper or a baren may be used to rub paper that has been
placed on the inked block. Woodblocks and linoleum prints are common relief
Woodcuts are relief prints made by carving
the image in reverse into a piece of wood using sharp or pointed gouges.
Woodcuts are printed one at a time by hand using a baren to rub over the paper
pressed onto the inked surface.
Lino-cuts are relief prints similar to
woodcuts, but carved into a softer linoleum plate.
Reduction prints are multi-colored relief prints
created by printing one color at a time, using the same block. To preserve each
color as it is overprinted with subsequent colors, areas of the plate are
carved away. The result is a completely destroyed printing block and beautiful,
White-line prints are created by carving away the
outline of the image (rather than the image itself) in a fashion similar to
direct drawing. Color may be added by registering the plate and paper and
printing each color separately through the press. I hand paint the entire plate
using multiple colors and print each image with one pass of the press. The
process must be repeated for each print. (These are usually considered monoprints,
or unique images using a constant matrix or design.)
Monotypes are one-of-a kind images created by the
artist manipulating the printing surface, usually acrylic or glass, which is
often covered with ink, paint, stencil or collagraph objects. The final unique
and non-reproducible image may be printed using a press or hand baren.