Kerry BuckAngie LewinKaren BinneyJenny Portlock

What Is An Original Print?

Glossary of Printmaking Terms

  • Artist Proof (AP)These represent a small number of prints taken at the same time as the original edition, for the artist's personal use or sale. They often acquire more value because of personal association with the artist.
  • Bite The etching action on metal.
  • Bled Image The image extends to the edge of the paper with no margins.
  • Burnishing Rubbing the reverse side of the printing paper which has been placed over the inked surface of the block, with a smooth rounded object.
  • Carborundum An abrasive in either solid or powder form, used for sharpening engraving and lino cutting tools or for grinding the old surface off lithography stones.
  • Colour Separation A separate drawing for each colour to be used in the print.
  • Dabber A soft leather/fabric inking pad used to ink a block instead of a roller.
  • Deckle Irregular edges of all four sides of hand made paper and the two of mould-made paper. False deckle is created by tearing the edge of the paper.
  • Editioned Print A set of identical prints taken from a plate or block in the final stage. The numbers on a print show the order of printing and the size of the edition, i.e. 8/25, the '8' represents the eighth print taken and the '25' represents the total number in the edition. This number excludes artist's proofs.
  • Hand Coloured Print A print where colour has been added after printing, usually with watercolour or drawing inks.
  • Monochrome A single colour, not necessarily black.
  • Offset A transfer method taking a printed impression from one surface to another.
  • Opaque Colours Colours through which light does not pass, which can be overprinted, blocking out the colours beneath.
  • Planographic Printing from an entirely flat surface as in lithography.
  • Registration The correct alignment of each block or plate when printing several colours on a single sheet of paper, giving accurate positioning.
  • Stages/States Working proofs taken from the blocks or plates at various stages to enable the arfist to judge the progress of the work.
  • Transparent Colours Colours which can be overprinted producing a further colour or colours.
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