Process of creating artworks by printing, normally on paper / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Printmaking is the process of creating artworks by printing, normally on paper, but also on fabric, wood, metal, and other surfaces. "Traditional printmaking" normally covers only the process of creating prints using a hand processed technique, rather than a photographic reproduction of a visual artwork which would be printed using an electronic machine (a printer); however, there is some cross-over between traditional and digital printmaking, including risograph.
Prints are created by transferring ink from a matrix to a sheet of paper or other material, by a variety of techniques. Common types of matrices include: metal plates for engraving, etching and related intaglio printing techniques; stone, aluminum, or polymer for lithography; blocks of wood for woodcuts and wood engravings; and linoleum for linocuts. Screens made of silk or synthetic fabrics are used for the screen printing process. Other types of matrix substrates and related processes are discussed below.
Except in the case of monotyping, all printmaking processes have the capacity to produce identical multiples of the same artwork, which is called a print. Each print produced is considered an "original" work of art, and is correctly referred to as an "impression", not a "copy" (that means a different print copying the first, common in early printmaking). However, impressions can vary considerably, whether intentionally or not. Master printmakers are technicians who are capable of printing identical "impressions" by hand. A print that copies another work of art, especially a painting, is known as a "reproductive print".
Multiple impressions printed from the same matrix form an edition. Since the late 19th century, artists have generally signed individual impressions from an edition and often number the impressions to form a limited edition; the matrix is then destroyed so that no more prints can be produced. Prints may also be printed in book form, such as illustrated books or artist's books.