An etching process concerned with areas of tone rather than line. For this technique, the plate is covered with a ground or resin that is granular rather than solid (as in etching) and bitten, like etching, with acid. The acid bites between the granules. The design, wholly in tonal areas not line, is produced by protecting certain areas of the plate from the acid with an impervious varnish, by multiple battings to produce different degrees of darkness, and by the use of several different resins with different grains.
Originally were the first copies printed and were used to indicate the artist’s approval of color reproduction and other mechanical aspects of the printing process. Once prized as best quality copies. Artist Proofs now exist solely as part of the printmaking tradition and are of a quality similar to the standard edition print. Artist’s Proofs are distinguished by the abbreviation AP and are numbered separately (AP 1/20); they often represent 10 to 15 percent of an edition. The artist would sell his artist proofs, and the publisher would sell the regular signed and numbered edition. With the advancements and improvement of the printing, the Artist’s Proofs are exactly the same as the regular edition. The artist proof smaller edition size gives it a greater value due to its scarcity, also some artists prefer to keep many of their AP’s rather than sell them, creating a limited number available on the market after the regular edition is sold out.
Asian or European Editions
A series of prints that are distributed outside the country where the artist resides. The prints are part of the total edition and there is no difference in quality or printing process. In this case, part of the serigraphs were intended for Japanese market, and were noted with the letter “A” in front of the number.
The printer or the work shop that printed the serigraphs
Bon a’ Tirer
The Bon a’ Tirer is the first impression which is fully acceptable to the artist and the printer. This impression serves as the standard of quality to which each impression is compared. It is printed on the same paper as the edition and is inscribed by the artist “Bon a’ Tirer” to authorize printing of the edition. Usually it becomes the property of the master printer at the end of the run. Bon a Tirer Proofs are distinguished some times by the abbreviation BAT followed by the number such as BAT 1/3 for example
Prints given to the Library of Congress for copyright application.
Estate Edition or Posthumous Edition
The edition is printed from an original artwork after the death of the artist. It has usually been authorized by the artist prior to his death, by the artist’s heirs or is the product of a publisher that was authorized by the estate or estate’s heirs to print from the original artwork of the artist. It should be limited in some way and the estate or the agent may apply a posthumous chop mark to each such print. In many cases, an “estate stamp” is made with a facsimile of the artist’s signature, and unsigned pieces are stamped. Sometimes the art is estate-stamped and also hand-signed by a qualified third party; sometimes it is signed with the name of a qualified third party and not stamped; sometimes a qualified third party signs the artist’s name instead of his or her own. Eyvind Earle established Eyvind Earle Publishing LLC personally before his death, to ensure that posthumous reproductions of his artwork would be made according to his standards. Only serigraphs created under the authority of Eyvind Earle Publishing LLC are authentic posthumous serigraphs. All serigraphs were numbered in ink, on the lower left corner of the image, and the artist’s trademark signature was gold stamped on the lower right corner of the image by Eyvind Earle Publishing LLC. The designation “E” before the number stands for Estate, and distinguishes posthumous or estate editions. Also each serigraph has a holograph on attached on the lower right front border of the serigraph (which is the chop mark.)
An intaglio process in which an acid-resistant ground is applied to a metal p0late, usually copper or zinc, and an image is cut into the ground by the artist using an etching needle or another tool to expose the metal of the plate. Acid is then applied to bit the plate, eating away the exposed lines. The time the plate is exposed to the acid as well as temperature determines the depth of the lines. When the plate is inked, covered with the dampened paper, and run through an etching press, the pressure of the press forces the paper into the etched lines of the drawing and ink is transferred to the paper. This results in an impression or print of the image on the plate.
The number of printed copies made from an original work. The edition is signed and numbered by the artist. The standard phrase “edition size” therefore refers to the number of copies, not a print’s physical dimensions. Edition size generally does not include Artist Proofs or any special edition copies that might be made, these special editions such as Printer’s Proofs, Hors de Commerce, Bon a Tirer Proofs, Conservation Editions, etc., are all numbered separately. The edition would be numbered such as 1/200, 2/200, 3/200 and so on until 200/200, which means that there are 200 prints in the edition. All of Eyvind’s serigraphs had been produced by hand and any variations in craftsmanship add to its individual character.
Hors de Commerce
Prints marked “H/C” or “HC” (French for “outside commerce”); these prints may well be “overs” and should not be sold. In recent times, the HC designation has simply become another portion of the total edition breakdown. Prints designated HC are readily sold, and have no higher (or lower) “value” than any other prints within the edition.
Actual dimensions of a printed image. This refers only to the image itself and not to the size of the paper it is printed on.
A method of printing using a smooth slab of porous stone upon which an image is drawn with a grease crayon. After the drawing is made, the artist or printer treats the entire surface with solutions of gum Arabic and nitric acid. The gum Arabic surrounds the grease and at the same time chemically prevents ink from adhering to the undrawn areas; the nitric acid helps the grease and the gum Arabic penetrate the pores of the stone. The plate is then wiped down with a solvent such as turpentine to remove all grease from the surface.
To print a lithograph, the printer flushes the surface with water, which is absorbed by the undrawn area but the greasy drawn area rejects. The printer then applies oil-base ink with a roller, and since water will not unite with oil the ink sticks only to the grease and thereby forms the image that can be pressure transferred to paper.
In a more modern, mechanized process called “Offset lithography,” the image to be printed is photographically applied to a metal plate that is then mounted onto the roller of a printing press. Ink is applied to the plate, transferred to a rubber roller called a “blanket” and from the blanket onto paper. Offset lithography is today the most widely used method of printing.
Because the older method brings paper and printing plate into direct contact with one another, the plate suffers a certain degree of wear as each copy is pulled and this is why low-number prints and artist proofs traditionally have been more desirable than copies made toward the end of the press run. Plate-wear is not a significant factor in offset lithography so there is no longer any actual difference in quality between the first print of an edition and the last one.
(plural: media) – The material or technique used in creating a work of art.
Museum impressions originated at Western Graphics Workshop where artists, at the discretion of workshop were given the option of designating one or more impressions from each edition as museum impressions. These impressions are generally donated to museums of the workshop’s choice in an effort to help museums build their print collections and bring new work before the public. The Museum Proofs are inscribed by the artist such as M followed by a number such as M 1/5 for example.
This to refer to quality, thickness, coating, type and characteristic of the paper that the edition was printed on.
Actual dimensions of the paper that the image was printed on.
At the discretion of the artist and/or workshop, the printer(s) who prints the edition may be given a proof in recognition of a job well done. In some editions, there may be a number of printer’s proofs depending on how many printers worked on the edition. The Printer’s Proof is on the same paper as the edition and is essentially identical to the Bon a’ Tirer. When a printer is given a proof, the proof is inscribed by the artist as Printer’s Proof or PP followed by the number such as PP 1/5.
A publisher is one who underwrites the printing and marketing of an artist’s prints. An artist may be his own publisher. A publisher brings together artist and printer (assuming the artist does not do his own printing). The printer may also himself be a publisher. There were print publishers already in the sixteenth century and the great majority of original prints made in the nineteenth century were commissioned and brought to market by publishers.
A publisher’s proof is an impression of a quality comparable to the printed edition and the Bon a Tirer. It is considered the personal property of the publisher of the edition. The proof is inscribed by the artist as publisher’s proof or PP (it should be not confused with printer’s proof and it should be specified on Certificate of Authenticity)
Released or published date
Year, month, date that the edition was released for sale to the galleries or public.
Roman Numbered Impressions
In addition to the regular Arabic numbered edition, a smaller reserved or preferred edition may be printed. To distinguish these impressions from the Arabic numbered impressions they are designated with Roman numbers. They may be sold either as a subscription series to individual collectors or institutions or as individual impressions. The proof is inscribed by the artist such as: I/ VII for example.
A print produced using the process of serigraphy generally referred to as silkscreen printing, one of the four major divisions of printmaking. Since the beginning of serigraphy the process changed several times, due to several factors: paint, paper, light exposure, machinery, etc. but the process is still the same: pushing the ink through a screen with a squeegee. There are few steps of how to make a serigraph:
Step 1: The printer uses a piece of silk, nylon or polyester stretched tightly across a wood or a metal frame to form a screen. The fine mesh that is stretched across the frame could be anywhere from 120 to 600 holes per inch.
Step 2: Both sides of the screen are coated with a liquid photo emulsion and allowed to dry completely.
Step 3: A color separation is created by laying a sheet of transparent acetate over the painting and using a brush or a pen with opaque ink by copying the color that will be printed. For larger area of colors the color separator will use a ruby lithe laid over the painting and will cut and the shape of the color creating an exact positive image of the color. A separate color separation is usually made for each color.
On the serigraph FIRE MAGIC the printer used 200 screens to create the image from the painting of Eyvind Earle.
Step 4: The coated screen is place on a vacuum table with the color separation in front of the screen. The screen is exposed to light for a specific period of time to create the stencil
Step 5: The screen is washed with water pressure to remove the photo emulsion from the areas that will be printed and where the color separation blocked the exposure light. The emulsion will remain in non print areas so the ink will not pass through. The image of the color separation will appear ghostlike in the screen.
Step 6: After the screen has dried, the screen is hinged to the press. The flat bed of the printing press has 3 registration marks that will not move and will guide the printer where to put the paper so the registration will be the same on each print. During printing is very critical that the position of the paper, the registration guides and the screen do not move .The printing table has an air vacuum which helps to hold the paper during printing, and all sheets will go on the same position
Step 7: The paint that will be printed is mixed to match the color that is in the original painting.
Step 8: The printer will put the ink on the screen and with a squeegee made of rubber will flood the paint over the screen.
Step 9: The screen is set down to make a contact with the table and the printer will push the ink through the screen with the squeegee.
Step 10: The screen is raised up, then the printer will remove the paper from the table and inspected carefully, then it is put on a rack to dry.
Step 11: The printer puts another sheet on the table in the same position using the registration marks and repeats the process on all the sheets of paper that he was decide to print.
To print the next color the printer will repeat the steps from 1 to 10 for each color.
Step 11: Usually the serigraphs are coated with one or two coats of varnish. Since 1991 the serigraphs are coated with UV paint. This will protect the image from scratches. As far as the record goes Eyvind’s serigraphs were the first ones in industry to be coated with UV transparent paint.
Step 12: The edition will be signed and numbered after a thoroughly check for scratches, dents or major imperfections.
It is an expensive and labor intensive process of layering colors to accurately reproduce an original.
Proofs are pulled at various stages of the production process. Those pulled in the course of preparing the print are termed working proofs; a pre-designated number of flawless prints pulled simultaneously with the edition prints are either artist’s proofs, presentation proofs, or printer’s proofs. Any additional prints, flawless or otherwise, pulled simultaneously with the edition prints are called “overs” and should be destroyed. Proofs can be sold but should be labeled as proofs, such as “WP”. It is important to be able to distinguish among the different designations of proofs.