Educational Outreach: Printmaking Techniques

Archival pigment printing is a printmaking process that incorporates refined particles of pigment that are resilient to the environmental elements that commonly degrade and erode dye molecules shortening the life of a print. Archival pigments are extremely small encapsulated particles that, when put onto paper, are large enough to stay upon the surface of the paper; as opposed to becoming absorbed into the fibers of the paper. (Noelle McCleaf)

Debossing and embossing are two techniques used to imprint images onto paper, leather or vinyl. In embossing, an image is pressed into the material so that the image raises from the surface. Debossing is the opposite of embossing; the area around the image is pressed so that the image is pushed down into the material rather than raised. (Joni Younkins-Herzog)

Digital printing uses digital manipulation in order to create a print from a computer using a large-scale ink jet printer. The ink is dispersed by a sophisticated print head in a fine mist of minute droplets in order to deliver a continuous tone image. (Tim Jaeger, Larry Forgard, Jenny Medved)

Linocut is a relief printing technique in which an image is carved into the surface of a block of linoleum leaving the printing parts level with the surface while removing the non-printing parts. It is a variant of woodcut in which a sheet of linoleum is used for the relief surface. (Daniel Miller, Javier Rodriguez, Natalya Swanson)

Monoprinting is a technique of printmaking that has images or lines that are permanently etched or carved into the matrix, that can only be made once. Even though the inscribed image may be permanent, the additive and subtractive inking methods make the image original. Drypoint is an Intaglio printing technique in which an image is incised into a plate (or “matrix”) with a hard-pointed needle of sharp metal or diamond point. (Tim Jaeger, Cassia Kite)

Monotyping is made by creating a design in printing ink, paint or other material on any smooth surface, then covering that matrix with a sheet of paper and rubbing the back of the paper or passing it through a press. The resulting image will be an exact reverse of the original design. Encaustic monotyping is a technique by which the artist paints with encaustic paint on a hot plate in order to transfer the image on paper. Since the plate is hot, the medium remains fluid and does not dry instantly as in traditional encaustic. This allows the artist to transfer the image on paper and to repeat the process. (Elena De La Ville)

Screenprinting is a stencil method of printmaking in which a design is transposed onto a screen of polyester or other fine mesh, with blank areas that are coated with an impermeable substance. Ink is forced into the mesh openings by a squeegee and transferred onto the printing surface during the squeegee stroke. Silkscreening is another name, as well as seriography, that came from the use of fine-mesh silk that, when tacked to a wooden frame, serves as a support for the cut-paper stencil, which is glued to it. Many colors can be used, with a separate screen for each color. (Daniel Miller, Steven Strenk)

Woodcut is a relief printing technique in which an image is carved into the surface of a block of wood leaving the printing parts level with the surface while removing the non-printing parts. Reduction woodcut printmaking technique creates a multi-colored print with the use of a single block. With each round of printing, the block is carved out more, and as a result, is ultimately destroyed. (Laine Nixon)


For more information about the event, please view: SARTQ Print Exhibit

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