The Printing Process
Fine Artichoke artist John Holcomb in his studio, preparing
to pull a layer of one of his “United Plates” prints. The paper
has to be painstakingly positioned so that the
different layers will register correctly.Printmaking is a method by which artists can produce multiples of a work of art. Because each print is made by the artist’s hand and displays the subtle nuances of their craft, each is considered an original, not a copy.
There are various techniques used to make prints, some of which have remained unchanged for hundreds of years. Here are a few printmaking methods used by Fine Artichoke artists:
In this method of printmaking, artists block out areas of a fine mesh screen (made of silk or synthetic threads). The screen is laid over paper, and when ink is run across its surface with a squeegee, open areas of the screen are printed, and the blocked-out areas are untouched. Often, artists will repeat this process many times on the same print, producing layers of colors that overlap and modify each other.
Block prints, woodcuts, and linocut all fall into this category. A relief print is made by cutting around an image drawn on a material such as wood or linoleum. When the negative space has been cut away, ink is rolled onto the surface of the block, which can then be used to produce the positive image on paper.