Printmaking Techniques

Linocut

 

A linocut is a relief print produced in a manner similar to a woodcut but that uses linoleum as the surface into which the design is cut and printed fromThe lino block consists of a thin layer of linoleum with a canvas backing. The soft linoleum can be cut away more easily than a wood-block and in any direction (as it has no grain) to produce a raised surface that can be inked and printed. Its slightly textured surface accepts ink evenly.

Screenprint

 

A printing technique whereby a mesh is used to transfer ink onto a substrate, except in areas made impermeable to the ink by a blocking stencil. A squeegee is moved across the screen to fill the open mesh apertures with ink along a line of contact. This causes the ink to wet the substrate and be pulled out of the mesh apertures as the screen springs back after the blade has passed. One color is printed at a time, so several screens can be used to produce a multicoloured image or design.

Etching

 

A chemical action is used to produce incised lines in a metal printing plate which then hold the applied ink and form the image. The plate is prepared with an acid-resistant ground, lines are drawn through the ground, exposing the metal. The plate is then immersed in acid and the exposed metal is ‘bitten’, producing incised lines. The resist is removed and ink applied to the sunken lines, but wiped from the surface. The plate is then placed against paper and passed through a printing press to transfer the ink from the recessed lines. 

  

Monoprint

 

A form of printmaking where the image can only be made once, unlike most printmaking which allows for multiple originals. An impression is printed from a reprintable plate, but in such a way that only one of its kind exists, for example by incorporating unique hand-colouring or collage. The beauty of monoprinting lies in its spontaneity and its allowance for combinations of printmaking, painting and drawing media.

Collagraph

 

This is a really versatile printing process in which a textured plate is inked up and put through a press. Different textures hold varying amounts of ink and print different tones. Anything with a low relief texture can be stuck down and used: wallpaper, leaves, fabrics, tapes and threads etc. The collagraph plate is then varnished and can be printed intaglio or relief.