What can YOU say in six sentences?
I know there is a lot of ignorance about printmaking because I was as ignorant as most until the autumn of 1999 when I was first initiated into what is, on the surface (pun intended) a very simple process by means of which an image can be created on a sheet of paper. And then, if desired, re-created from several to hundreds more times, which is where confusion begins, because the immediate assumption is that whereas one, unique, image has value, ‘multiples’ do not.
The term ‘limited edition’ has become further debased, for purely commercial reasons, by those sellers who attempt to imply that what are reproductions of artworks – photocopies of paintings – have an equal merit, when the truth is that an ‘original’ print is made only when the artist conceives and creates an image on a printing plate and subsequently uses that plate to transfer that image onto paper.
Such hand-made prints can be produced in small limited editions but many artists (myself included) are not interested in producing identical prints and use the process to create several, often vastly different versions of the same image.
There are numerous ways to make a plate from which to print an image, all of which provide a language of marks, a richness of colour and depth and other unique characteristics which can’t be achieved in any other way. In my next post I’ll describe the two methods I use: etching and collagraph.