Acid BathA tray containing acid mixed with water in which the plate is immersed to be bitten. See Bite.
A la PoupeeA method of applying multi-color inks by rollers or other tools, to one plate in different areas for a single impression.
AluminumMetal used in connection with hand printed lithography as an alternative to stone.
AquatintAn etching process in which the tonality is achieved by dusting powdered resin onto a plate, heating it, when the resin has adhered to the plate, the plate is etched.
Artist's ProofArtist's Proof should be exactly the same as the edition in quality and image though they are outside the numbered edition. They are identified with "A.P." or "Artist's Proof" on the impression. They are often retained by the artist or publisher.
AsphaltumA bituminous substance used in intaglio as an acid resist. In lithography it may be used for drawing or rolling up stones or plates.
BarenA padded tool used for rubbing the back of paper in relief printing from blocks.
BiteTerm is used for the action of acid on the plate in the acid bath.
BlanketsPads used between the paper and roller on an etching press to prevent movement of paper during printing. Also to provide cushioning and aid in pressing paper into the lines of the plates, etc.
Blind StampThe same as chop but stamped with ink on verso of the print. See also Chop.
Bon a TirerA literal translation from the French meaning "good to pull" and refers to the first print the artist decides to use for editioning. This print is then used as a guide for printer of the edition. This print is annotated Bon a Tirer, B.A.T. or R.T.P. (Right to Print), and is outside the edition.
BurinA tool with a steel shaft used for engraving metal plates or wood blocks.
BurrThe ridge left in the metal plate on both sides of the needle-cut line. A ridge of metal created as the needle cuts into the metal plate. In printing creates a soft fuzzy line, instead of a clean sharp line as in engraving.
Cancellation Proof A proof pulled from defaced plate, screen or block, to guarantee that no other prints may be made from that edition, thus insuring a limited edition.
Chine Colle/ Chine AppliqueA process in which one sheet of paper is adhered to another by pressure, usually a thin paper laminated to backing during the printing process.
ChopAn identifying mark embossed on a print to identify the workshop, printer or publisher of the print.
CollagraphA print of a collage which may consist of a variety of materials glued to a rigid plate. The plate is then inked and printed usually on an etching press.
Color SeparationsProofs of each separate color of a multicolor print.
Color Trial ProofThis term may be used to annotate Trial Proofs, these proofs may be done using the same plates as in the edition but the color varies from that used in the edition.
CouchingThe process of transferring a wet just formed sheet of paper from mold to a wet felt. Two or more sheets may be couched together to form one sheet. This can be used as a means of making limited editions of cast paper.
Deckle EdgeThe uneven edge on handmade paper or mould made paper.
DrypointDrawing on a metal plate with a needle of hard steel, often with a diamond point. The "burr" that is formed along the edge of the line traps the ink for a soft rich effect.
DustboxA box in which a plate is coated with powdered rosin for aquatint processing.
EditionTotal number of prints pulled from one image and represents the largest body of work for sale from that image. These prints are consecutively numbered to show that the edition is limited by publisher or artist.
Embossment/ DebossmentThe effect attained by a specially cut plate or block printed inkless. This results in the image on paper having a raised or lowered effect.
EngravingA method of drawing that employs a burin or graver to cut or incise on a metal plate.
EtchingAn intaglio process in which the lowered printing areas are bitten and etched by acid. The drawing and preparation of the plate can be accomplished with a variety of techniques dealt with elsewhere in this glossary. See Hardground, Sugar Lift and Softground.
FeltsThe woven fabrics, such as wool, on which the made papers are placed when wet. See Couching.
FibersThreadlike structures, often cellulose, that make up papermaking pulp.
Handmade PaperPaper formed by a hand held mould or matrix.
HardgroundA waxy varnish or ground applied to a plate to prepare it for drawing. The ground masks out areas not to be bitten in the acid bath, it acts as a resist. This technique is commonly used to produce fine line drawings.
Hors de CommerceThese prints are outside the edition but are the same as the edition and are used as gifts or payment to those involved in the production of the edition.
ImpressionA term applied to any work from any printing element.
IntaglioA general term covering the printing process such as engraving, aquatint, mezzotint, etching. Any process in which the image is cut, engraved or etched below the surface of the plate.
Light Sensitive PlateA plate treated with a light sensitive coating which will receive a photographic image either in lithographic or intaglio processes.
Line EngravingA print made by using a metal plate cut with an engraving tool.
LinocutA relief process in which the image is cut into linoleum block. The printing surface being the raised portions of the block.
Lithographic Crayons and PencilsCrayons and pencils of a greasy substance used in drawing for lithography.
LithographyA process based on the natural repulsion between grease and water. Image is drawn on stone, aluminum or zinc plates, or both with greasy drawing materials. The image is then chemically processed so that the drawn area accepts grease (ink) and the non-image area water. Unlike intaglio printing the image and non-image areas are on the same plane or level (planographic).
MezzotintAn intaglio process in which the surface of the plate is scored by a spurlike "rocker" so that it is completely roughened. The plate is then smoothed in areas to produce modulated tones of light and dark values.
Monoprint/ MonotypeA print in which the image is made on a non-absorbent surface, such as glass or plexiglass, drawn with ink or paint. The image is transferred to paper by rubbing the back of the paper on the plate with a rubbing tool or by hand. Only one print may be made by this method. Or any other method that makes only one impression.
Offset LithographyA planographic process in which the inked impression is taken from the plate by a rubber covered cylinder which then transfers the image it has picked up to the paper.
Photo Processes
(Photo Engraving, Photogravure, Photosilkscreen, Photolithography)
These processes all involve the use of light sensitive emulsion to transfer photographic images onto a plate or screen which are then processed for printing.
Plate MarkIn intaglio prints the pressure of the press causes the plate to leave a mark of its surface dimensions upon the paper.
PochoirA process used for hand coloring prints by using brushes or stencils or any method the artist chooses.
Printer's ProofThis impression is exactly like the edition and is the property of the printers responsible for pulling the edition.
PullTo print, to transfer the ink to paper.
PulpThe fibers that have been reduced and diluted with water to be formed into paper.
Rainbow RollMethod of applying multi-color inks in bands or gradations on one roller to plate or stone.
Registration MarksMarks used by the printer to line up the paper with area to be printed.
Relief PrintingA process of printing in which the non-printed areas have been cut away from a block or plate.
RemarqueDrawings or experimental marks usually in the margins of the print, to be removed before the work is editioned. The prints with these marks are called Remarque Proofs.
RestrikeThe print or a whole edition pulled from formerly printed plates, blocks, stones, or stencils after the original edition has been printed and cancelled. These prints should show a defacing mark to note that original edition has been cancelled.
RockerA tool used to roughen the surface of the plate for mezzotint, an intaglio process.
Signed EditionThe number below the line designates the total size of the edition, the upper number refers to the specific print from the total edition, i.e. 2/100, the second print pulled from an edition of 100.
Silkscreen/ Serigraph/ ScreenprintA stencil process employing a frame on which silk or synthetic fabric is stretched. Stencils such as photo, hand drawn or hand cut are placed on the stretched fabric and act as a block out when the ink passes through the screen by means of a squeegee onto the paper, the non-stencil areas create the image.
SoftgroundAn acid resistant coating applied to an etching plate. This ground remains soft even when dry and is very sensitive to pressure.
Spit BiteA method in which the acid is applied directly to the plate and then quickly removed by any variety of liquids.
SqueegeeA tool used in silkscreen to apply ink or paint to material to be printed. A wooden bar and a rubber blade forces ink through screen.
State ProofThe alteration of an editioned image, plate, stone or stencil creating a new or related image. The new image may be printed in an edition with all impressions designated "State" I, II, III, IV, or more.
Stencil PrintA print made by applying color to an etching plate by use of a metal or paper stencil before printing, by rolling the color onto an inked plate.
StoneBavarian limestone is used in the medium of lithography. This is the element that the artist draws on to create the print image.
Sugar-Lift/ GroundThe image is drawn on the plate with brush or pen and sugar ink (a mixture of sugar and India ink). The plate is covered with hardground and immersed in hot water to dissolve the sugar, lifting the hardground with it. The plate is then etched in the normal manner.
TransferMethod of drawing in which artist works on a specially coated paper or surface other than the intended printing element. The drawing is then transferred to metal or stone which is then processed for printing.
Trial ProofA proof that varies from the edition either in color, size, drawing, printing order, etc. These proofs are usually pulled before the artist has arrived at the final decision for the edition. These prints are usually unique impressions which may be retained by the artist and are not numbered in any manner.
Transfer PaperPaper used by the artist to draw on that is transferred to the plate or stone. With this method the image need not be drawn in reverse.
Vegetable PrintA print using a vegetable such as a potato as the inked element.
WatermarkThe mark that papermakers form in their papers by sewing the design into the mould before the papermaking process. The watermark can be seen when held to the light as it is more translucent than the rest of the paper.
Wood CutA relief process in which the image is cut in a block of wood with tools such as knives, goughers or chisels. The image is inked with a roller, paper is applied to the surface and the back is rubbed by hand or with a rubbing tool, transferring the image to the paper.
Wood EngravingA relief process in which the image is cut into the end grain of a block of wood using engraving tools. This process produces a very fine white line.
Zinc Plates/Metal PlatesUsed both for lithography and intaglio processes.