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Definition: The depressed surfaces of the printing matrix, usually a metal plate, print the image when the paper is pressed into them.
Process: The image is drawn or exposed onto a metal plate (copper or zinc) and then etched. The engraved areas are filled with ink while the non-printing surface is wiped clean. An etching press with pressure of approximately 800 pounds per square inch forces dampened paper into the depressed areas, and the image is transferred. Embossed intaglio sections are printed without ink.
ImagOn is a non-toxic photopolymer film that is used as a photo etching resist. Film positives are made by drawing with opaque materials such as toner washes on films and also computer generated vellum transparency papers. The exposure is made using an Olec AL131 exposure unit and developed in a mild (non-toxic) soda ash solution. The prints are printed by hand from copper plates on a Dickerson combination etching press.
The surfaces of a cardboard plate are built up with glue, gesso and other materials such as fabric, etc. and printed as an intaglio process. A collagraph is a print made from a collage plate. The plate is created by attaching other material such as cardboard, aluminum, string, sand, and so forth, with the use of glue, acrylic, and/or paste. Dampened paper on top of the inked plate is run through the press. The resulting impression is that of embossing as well as printing. The process of collagraphy combines texturing with the layering of ink.
Chine-collé is a process that introduces color and texture into an etching without having to prepare and print additional plates. Any number of lightweight papers can be successfully used for chine-collé, but good quality, natural-fiber papers with some degree of lightfastness are most compatible with general etching papers, which are also used in chine-collé.
Chine-collé papers are cut or torn into desired shapes, then dampened between blotters until uniformly moist. A printing paper used for the etching is then blotted to remove excess water. The chine-collé papers are then brushed with a coating of wheat paste on one side and placed on top of the inked plate in their desired locations, paste side up.
The chine-collé papers adhere to the plate enough to remain undisturbed when the dampened printing paper is placed on top. The pressure from the bed laminates both the chine-collé paper and the etching paper. The ink from the plate prints on top of the chine-collé papers, creating some interesting and unusual effects with lines, tones, and values.
An intaglio method in which areas of color are made by dusting powdered resin on a metal plate and then letting acid eat the plate surface away from around it.
Monotype and Monoprint
A monoprint is one of a series, and therefore not entirely unique. A monoprint begins with an etched plate, a serigraph, or a lithograph. The underlying image on the plate, serigraph, or lithograph remains the same and is common to each print in a given series. Other means of additional pigment or design are then often employed to make each print in the series slightly different. The series of monoprints is limited, with each print sequentially numbered.
A monotype is one of a kind — a unique piece of artwork. It is the simplest form of printmaking, requiring only pigments, a surface on which to apply them, paper, and some form of press. The qualities that make the monotype unique as a medium are its freedom, its flexibility, and the spontaneity of application that is inherent in the process.
Original prints, or multiple originals, are works of art that have been hand-pulled from a plate, a block, or a stone, upon which an image has been placed through any of various techniques by an artist assisted by a master printer. They are not copies of work that an artist has created in another medium, such as oil or watercolor. Original prints are created by an artist with the intention of producing an edition of original prints rather than one unique piece. Multiple originals are hand-signed and sequentially numbered in pencil by the artist.
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