What is printmaking

A lot of people think that printmaking is about reproductions. Nothing could be further from the truth. Every print made or exhibited at Northern Print is an original. That is to say it doesn't exist in any other form and was conceived and made purely as a print.

This might be an etching, a screenprint, a woodblock or a digital print. Often the prints are in small limited editions, sometimes only one is ever made. Prints at Northern Print are created from a block, plate or through a stencil. It might be drawn with acid and etched into a smoothly polished sheet of copper; it might be intensely-hued ink squeezed through a mesh stencil or hand-cut into a piece of box wood. Or it might be none of these traditional methods but an artist's very personal working method developed over many years.

Artists are drawn to printmaking because it can provide a language of marks, a richness of colour and depth and other unique characteristics that can't be achieved in any other way. Some artists produce all their work using printmaking processes. Others move in and out of this way of working as they wish, perhaps making a print to accompany an exhibition of their work.

Find out how others describe printmaking - Museum of Modern Art, New York - Saint Louis Art Museum


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