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PRINTMAKING TECHNIQUES

INTAGLIO

Intaglio refers to any printmaking process which involves making incisions or indents in a plate, so when the ink is applied and then wiped off, ink remains caught in the incisions and creates the image.

COLLAGRAPH

A method of creating an ink-holding surface on selected areas of an intaglio plate by adding media such as acrylic gesso, varnish, glue, carborundum, fabrics, paper or light-sensitive film.   These media may be altered on the plate by painting, drawing, dissolving areas and by cutting into the plate which, after coating with shellac can be printed using an etching or intaglio press. The word is derived from the Greek word koll or kolla, meaning glue, and graph, meaning the activity of drawing.

DRYPOINT

An intaglio technique , drypoint is usually done on copper plates as the metal is soft to work with. The process of incising for drypoint creates a slightly raised ragged rough edge to the lines, known as the burr. When ink that has been applied to the plate is wiped off both the incised line and specifically the burr receive ink when the plate is wiped, giving the printed line a distinctive velvety look. Owing to the delicate nature of the burr, drypoint is usually made in small editions, stopping before the burr is crushed by the pressure of the intaglio press. Drypoint is often combined with other intaglio techniques, such as etching.

ETCHING

Also an intaglio technique, the plate, traditionally copper but now usually zinc, is prepared with an acid-resistant ground. Lines are drawn through the ground, exposing the metal. The plate is then immersed in acid and the exposed metal is ‘bitten’, producing incised lines. Stronger acid and longer exposure produce more deeply bitten lines. The resist is removed and ink applied to the sunken lines, but wiped from the surface. The plate is then placed against paper and passed through an printing press with great pressure to transfer the ink from the recessed lines. Sometimes ink may be left on the plate surface to provide a background tone.

LINOCUT

The lino block consists of a thin layer of linoleum (a canvas backing coated with a preparation of solidified linseed oil) usually mounted on wood. The soft linoleum can be cut away more easily than a wood-block and in any direction (as it has no grain) to produce a raised surface that can be inked and printed. Its slightly textured surface accepts ink evenly.

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