Acid-Free -  Used to describe matting, paper or storage materials that do not contain acids that can cause discoloration or deterioration to artworks. Also called ‘archival’.

After  - Done in the style of a particular artist by someone other than that artist, usually a master printer, and typically under the supervision and approval of the artist.

Aquatint -  A process for producing tone etchings, so named because the finished print resembles watercolor drawings in quality. The ordinary bitten line of etching is combined with a delicate tone or tint produced by etching the copper plate with acid through a protective resist. This resist, or ground, is laid by flooding the copper plate with dissolved powdered resin, or by inserting the copper plate in a dust box. Using the dust box method, the coating of resin dust has to be fastened to the plate by heating it. From this stage on the process is similar to etching. Those parts of the design which are to be left white are protected with an acid resistant material such as varnish, or are "stopped out", and the rest of the plate is bitten. Varying tonal effects are achieved by repeated varnishing and immersion. After preparation of the plate, the edition is pulled as would be in other etching techniques.

Artist's Proof  - Abbreviated "A.P."  A portion of the total number of impressions or pieces in a limited edition are usually designated "A.P." These artist proofs are retained by the artist. At one time, the artist's proofs were given to the artist usually as payment for signing the edition.

Atelier  - This is the print workshop, where an edition is pulled or printed. From the French word meaning "studio".

Carborundum - Another name for silicon carbide, carborundum is a abrasive substance sometimes used to build up the surface of a metal plate. When the plate is pressed against dampened paper, the raised carborundum areas leave a craggy, relief impression on the paper.

Catalogue Raisonné  - A complete, annotated catalog of the works of a particular artist. Considered as the definitive source, providing details such as title, medium, date, print and image size, edition size, publishers and printers. Pronounced "res-o-nay."

Chine Collé  - A method of selectively adhering one sheet of paper to another during or after the printing process.

Chop Mark - An insignia of the printer or publisher, usually a small embossed seal of the printer's name and logo. Most often visible in the lower right or lower left near the edge of the paper.

Diptych - A work of art composed of two separate pieces, usually displayed together side by side, producing one continuous image.

Drypoint, Drypoint Engraving  - A process of engraving upon a copper plate with a burin, scoring deeply into the plate, creating a furrow bordered by rough, upturned edges (the burr), which hold the ink. In line engraving, the slight burr made by the burin is removed, but in drypoint engraving the burr is left. Therefore, prints taken from a drypoint engraving have a special velvety black line.

Edition  - Refers to the total number of identical prints made from the same plates or screens, such as "from the edition of 250". Oftentimes editions are 'signed and numbered' which means they are numbered sequentially and hand signed by the artist. Limited editions have a stated limit of prints in the edition. Open editions have an unknown or unlimited quantity of prints.

Etching  - A process by which graphics are taken from a metal plate, on which the drawing is bitten with acid into the surface of the plate. A clean polished copper plate (or occasionally zinc or steel), is covered with a thin coating of acid-resisting etching ground. The drawing to be reproduced is either traced onto the blackened surface of the grounded plate, or is drawn directly onto the surface, using the burin, which exposes the metal in the drawn areas. The edges and back of the plate are then coated with an acid-resistant varnish and it is then immersed in a bath of acid which attacks the metal where it is exposed. When the lightest parts are bitten to the artist's liking, the plate is taken out of the acid and the work stopped out with varnish. The process can then be repeated until the work is completed to the artist's satisfaction. The ground and varnish are then removed with a solvent and the plate is then inked. Ink is applied to the entire surface and then carefully rubbed off, leaving the ink in the bitten areas. Impressions are made on damp paper, which is forced into the ink filled lines as the paper and plate are put through a pressure press.

Epreuve d'Artiste  - French term meaning "proof of the artist. " Abbreviated as "E.A.", it means the same as artist's proof.

Gouache  - French term meaning "opaque watercolor". A medium in which watercolors are made opaque by the addition of white pigment or sizing. Unlike watercolors, gouache does not allow the whiteness of the paper to show through the paint.

Graphic print  - A term usually used to describe a print made by lithography, silk screening, etching, woodcut or linocut. As in, "this is a graphic print by Hockney" or "we carry 20th Century graphic prints by some of the best artists in the world".

Hors Commerce  - French term meaning 'outside of business or not for commerce'. Abbreviated as "H.C.". Referring to a portion of a limited edition that is not meant for sale. Prints designated H.C. were often given to the project collaborators as a form of appreciation or partial payment.

Impression  - Any print taken from an engraved block, plate or stone.

Linocut  - The full term is linoleum cut. A surface printing process similar to woodcutting. The image is dug into the linoleum (linoleum is a hard, smooth washable floor covering made of a mixture of ground cork, wood, and linseed oil) with the areas not to be printed being cut away. The block is then inked and paper is pressed down on the linoleum. Colors can be added by using different blocks, or altering the one block and re-inking.

Lithography  - A surface printing process based on the mutual incompatibility of grease and water. (derived from the Greek term lithos meaning stone and grapho, meaning to write.) A greasy crayon is used to draw the design on the surface of a porous stone, usually a fine-grained limestone block (referred to as a plate). More modern methods use disposable aluminum plates instead of the original limestone blocks. The stone is then thoroughly wetted and an oil based ink rolled across its surface. Where the greasy design has repelled the water, the ink will adhere. Paper is then pressed onto the stone. Each print in the edition typically requires re-wetting and re-inking the stone or plate for each color resulting in a layering effect to create depth and texture.

Medium  - In general, the process employed by the artist, such as etching, silk screening, painting, etc. that is used to create the work of art.

Mixed Media  - Generally, when an artist has used more than one medium in creating the work. As an example, a lithograph with woodcut would be considered a mixed media.

Museum Mount, or Museum Framing  - The safest method of hinging, matting and framing artwork that utilizes only acid-free materials.

Offset Printing  - Lithographic printing which is done not directly from the lithographic plate/stone. Offset printing is usually considered to be a photo-mechanical process.

Original  - Considered as a work of art conceived and produced solely by the artist, or under his direct supervision. Graphic works such as lithographs, silkscreens, etchings, etc, are considered to be "original multiples" as the finished print is the only manifestation of such work.

Plate Mark  - The indented impression on the damp paper made by the etched plate when passed through the press. Prints taken from wood blocks or lithographic stones seldom show impressions of this kind.

Print  - Any impression taken on paper (or silk, canvas or any other material) from any kind of plate or block, worked either by hand or by photomechanical means.

Printer’s Proof  - Designated as "P.P.", it is simply a print made outside of the regular edition for approval by the master printer which is then retained by the printer or atelier. The "P.P." can also mean "publisher's proof".

Provenance  - The pedigree, or history of ownership, of a work of art.

Remarque  - A small unique drawing or painting made by the artist, usually in the margin area of one of his limited editions prints.

Silkscreen or Serigraph - A printing process which involves the use of various screens or stencils. The design is drawn on the screen (at one time silk was the general material of choice, before technology provided better materials at less cost) and is either cut out (stencil) or stopped out with varnish. Ink or paint is then wiped or squeegee across the screen, and penetrates to the paper placed immediately below the screen. Different colors usually require the use of different screens, with the many colors being built up on the paper with each successive squeegee of ink or paint.

Signed in the Stone or Plate  - When the artist's signature is printed along with the art image. After creating the artwork image on the plates or stones, the artist will then "sign in the stone" and then the edition is pulled. Not the same as the handwritten signature of the artist.

State  - A term applied to the different image stages in making an etching, lithograph, linocut etc. As the work progresses, the artist pulls proofs in order to examine condition or effect.

Suite  - When two or more images are published or released together, the grouping is referred to as a suite, as in "from the suite of 10 etchings."

Tirage  - French term meaning "output."  To have the tirage of a limited edition work is to have full information concerning the total number of prints in an edition, the date and workshop where completed as well as how the total edition is broken down. As an example, the tirage of a print could be: 1-300 + I-CL + 1-30 A.P. + 1-20 H.C.; printed in  1988 at Chromacomp in New York.

Triptych  - A work of art composed of three separate pieces, usually displayed together. Pronounced "trip-tick".

Watermark - A translucent name or design molded into the paper during the manufacturing process, usually in the border area; more visible when held up to a light.

Woodcut  - One of the earliest forms of printmaking, in which the design is carved in wood, with the areas not to be printed being cut away. The block is then inked and paper is pressed down on the woodblock. Colors can be added by using different blocks, or altering the one block and re-inking. 

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