In the art world the term "print" can be some what confusing. There are two broad categories of prints: digital prints and hand pulled prints.
A digital print is a reproduction of an original work. The artist will create an original in the medium of their choice (pencil, acrylic, oil) and take a high resolution scan or photograph of the work. In some cases the artist may produce the work completely digitally using visual software. The image is then reproduced using professional inkjet printers onto fine art paper, or canvas, using archival inks. The artist can create as many copies of the work as they like and each will look identical (much like a photo of a person can be reprinted over and over). Digital prints allow artists to recreate their work in an affordable and accessible form and many of the prints in Quirky Fox are created this way.
A typical print studio - photo courtesy of Annie Sandano
Hand pulled prints (or 'original prints' or 'artist prints') have a degree of manual labour not seen in digital prints. Where a digital print just requires a push of a button, hand pulled prints are created manually from a plate, stone, block or screen which has been cut, etched or constructed by the artist. This 'plate' has inks applied to it and is then either pressed onto the paper or through a hand operated press. There is no 'original' as such as the plate will be a mirror image or the final product. Instead of being like a photograph of a person, hand pulled prints are more like twins or triplets - although each print is similar it is not identical: each print will vary slightly as the plate is individually inked and press each time and wear on the plate will change the design slightly over time.
Traditional print making processes include etchings, linocuts, and woodcuts.
Quirky Fox works with a number of artists who produce hand pulled prints including Annie Sandano who has been kind enough to share pictures of her studio and process with us which will feature in the next couple of blog posts.
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