Printmaking: Monotype, Intaglio, Etching, Photogravure and Screenprinting
Orange and Blue Grasses (2012)
Wide Grass (2009)
Etching With Viscosity
Birches, Mont-Royal (2009)
Prague—Charles Bridge IV (2006)
Monotypes are one-of-a-kind prints.
I produce monotypes by making a design on a flat smooth surface (a "plate") and then printing the design on a piece of paper using a hand-operated etching press to transfer the design from the plate to the paper.
Once the design is transferred from the plate, very little of the original design is left on the plate. For this reason there is usually only one print, a monotype, made from the image that was originally on the plate.
Intaglio refers to prints that are made from a plate into which a design has been incised, by scratching, etching in acid, or some other means. Generally more than one copy of the print is made from such a plate. The collection of nearly identical prints from one plate is called an edition.
Traditional etching is a type of intaglio printing that involves the use of nitric acid as the etchant.
Polymer intaglio is a recently developed form of intaglio that avoids some of the toxicity of the traditional methods. Photopolymer films adhered to copper plates are used to create intaglio prints. The plate is exposed to ultraviolet light shining through a transparency that contains the image that will be printed from the completed plate. The plate is then placed in a solution of sodium carbonate as a developer and, finally, inked and printed.
Photogravure is an intaglio process that was used to produce photographs. In its modern version it allows one to print images with a wide range of values.
Ultraviolet light is used to transfer a digital image printed in black on a transparency to light-sensitive gelatin film. The gelatin film is then adhered to a flat, polished copper plate. The image is developed on the copper plate using hot water.
The resulting plate is etched in a series of up to seven concentrations of ferric chloride and water. After trimming the excess copper from the edges of the image, the plate is printed with a printing press using etching ink and archival paper.
Screenprinting entails forcing ink through a fabric screen that contains the image to be printed.
The image is created by blocking out those areas of the screen that are to remain unprinted. This is accomplished by means of traditional methods such as paper stencils or use of stop-out liquid, or by photographic methods. The latter involve coating the screen with photopolymer emulsion and then exposing the coated screen to ultraviolet light through a transparency that contains the image.
Screenprinting can be used to create an edition of prints or individual prints.
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Page revised January 2013.