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Art Dictionary

An abridged glossary of terms with a focus on the printmaking medium.

ABRADED.
Having a worn or rubbed appearance as a result of mechanical or chemical action. An abrasion is a localized abraded area.

ACID FREE.
A paper product having a pH level of 7 or above.

ACIDIC.
In paper, an unstable state whereby the molecular structure of the paper breaks down, causing discoloration and weakening of the sheet.

ACRYLIC.
Refers to a class of synthetic polymeric resins used extensively in emulsion paints, varnishes and adhesive formulations. In sheet form the acrylic resins bear trade names such as Plexiglas, Lucite and Perspex.

AGING.
The continuous action of atmospheric components- oxygen, moisture, as well as light, temperature – on materials and structures, leading to deterioration. Natural aging deterioration may also be caused by incompatible components reacting slowly within the structure.

AIR-BRUSH (Aerograph).
A small air-gun capable of spraying paint, ink, varnish or ground in a stream of fine droplets. It can be used in lithography and aquatint, for the application of a flat tint, and on drawings which are to be photographed in the half-tone technique.

ALKALINE BUFFER.
An additive used in paper-making processes and conservation treatments that will raise the pH level.

ALUMINUM.
This metal can be used in printmaking either as a plate, or as a support for an impression to be made upon. In the former case, it can be (a) engraved with the burin, (b) etched with mercuric bichloride, or (c) prepared lithographically. Impressions can be made directly onto the metal, in particular with the screenprinting technique.

ARCHIVAL.
An archival material should have a neutral or slightly alkaline pH; it should also have good aging properties.

ARTIST’S PROOF. (see proof)

AQUATINT. ( See printmaking techniques)
A process of intaglio engraving on metal.

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BEADING.
A greasy surface repels water and aqueous preparations by reducing them to droplets. This beading will occur if, for example, a copper plate which has not been cleaned properly is covered with Indian ink.

BED (OF PRESS).
Part of a press on which the plate or block rests during printing. In a lithographic press, the bed is a mobile element which transports stone to a position beneath the scraper or roller.

BEVELLING.
The edges of intaglio plates are bevelled to ensure that they do not cut the paper in the press. A true bevel is only necessary if the plate is more than a millimeter thick, otherwise a light rounding off is sufficient.

BITING.
The process of (1) corroding a design on a metal plate in either intaglio (e.g. etching) or relief (e.g. line block); and (2) fixing the image on the stone or metal plate in lithography (see: reinforcing). It is done with a mordant: acid solution, salt (perchloride of iron), etc.

BLANCHING.
A pale discoloration on a surface as a result of superficial water or solvent penetration.

BLANKETS.
Blankets may be used as the packing placed between the upper roller of the intaglio press and the paper when printing. These are used to even out the pressure being applied to a plate.

BLOCK.
The wooden element which is printed in making woodcuts and wood engraving. The word also applies to typographical printing elements.

BLURRING.
An impression will receive a blurred appearance if the paper and the inked roller are not properly registered during printing.

“BON A TIRER”.
Literally means “Good to print:” It is generally assigned on a trial proof by the artist when he wishes to indicate to the professional printer that a satisfactory state of his print has been obtained. It gives the printer the standard to which he must adhere in taking successive impressions.

BUCKLING.
A radical shrinkage or compression of a surface (e.g panel painting) as a result of environmental action. This often results in generalized lifting or cleavage of the paint and decoration layers.

BURIN ENGRAVING.
Also known as line engraving.

BURNISHING.
The operation of smoothing out the grain in the mezzotint process with the aid of the burnisher, a polished steel tool with a large round head. It is also used on metal plates where corrections are required.

BURR.
The cutting action of a tool across a metal plate causes rough ridges known as “burr” to be thrown up on either side of the incision. The ridges left by a burin are quite small and are removed with the scraper; the drypoint creates a large burr, which retains the ink and prints an area of rich tone – the particular characteristic of this technique. Burr is very fragile and, unless the plate is steel-faced, will rapidly wear away in the press. Usually lasts for only 10-20 impressions after creation.

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CALLIPERS.
A tool resembling a pair of dividers used in making corrections on an intaglio plate. They locate the corresponding position, of the part to be corrected, on the back of the plate. The indentation caused by erasing the mistake on the front is then knocked up from behind with a hammer.

CANCELED PLATE.
When the printing of a limited edition of prints has been completed, it is usual to deface the plates, stones, etc., to ensure that there is no possibility of their being reprinted. A cancellation impression is one that is taken to prove the cancellation.

CARBORUNDUM.
A very hard mixture consisting primarily of silicon carbide; it is used as an abrasive and, in powdered form, in a method of engraving invented by Henri Goetz. He used it to obtain a dotted effect by sprinkling it over a metal plate (usually duralumin) which was then pulled through a press, thereby causing the grains to penetrate the metal.

CARTOUCHE.
Ornamental design resembling the curves of a rolled-up parchment scroll. It is found at the base of old master engravings containing inscriptions (title, dedication, date, signature, etc.).

CHIAROSCURO or CHIAROSCURO WOODCUT. (See printmaking techniques)
1. In a general sense, chiaroscuro describes the method of using contrasted light and shade as a means of illuminating and giving form to a particular subject.
2. In a specific sense, it describes a particular woodcutting process (chiaroscuro woodcut) in which tone blocks (usually in lighter and darker tones of one color.) are overprinted and juxtaposed to obtain a colored print. The same technique can be applied to lithography: different stones are used for the varying tones.

CHINE COLLE.
Areas of thin colored tissue mounted on or glued to the surface of a print.

CHISEL.
A flat tool used in woodcutting. It has a bevelled edge and is either pushed manually, or knocked with a mallet, over large areas to be cut away, i.e. those between the edges of the design and the sides of the block.

CHROMOLITHOGRAPHY.
In a loose manner this can mean simply printing lithographs in color. The term was specifically applied to certain nineteenth-century color lithographs which were reproductive in intention and imitated the appearance of oil paintings. They were printed from a large number of stones, which demands a good technical skill.

CLEANING.
As used in painting conservation, refers to application of solvents and other liquids to remove discolored surface coatings, as well as to retouchings and restorations not part of the original work. In other contexts, it refers to the removal of dirt and coating from surfaces by a variety of liquid and/or dry techniques.

CLICHE-VERRE (GLASS PRINT). (see printmaking techniques)
A process of planographic printing. From the French term “clichoverre.” The artist draws a design with a needle on a glass plate coated with an opaque ground from which positive photographic prints are made on sensitized paper as from an ordinary negative.

CLIPPING.
Reducing the margins of a print.

COLLAGRAPH.
The print resulting from a collage of materials glued together on a base and printed as a combined relief and intaglio plate.

COLLOTYPE.
Initially called albertype, after its principal inventor, this process consists in pouring a layer of gelatine mixed with potassium chromate over the surface of a zinc or glass plate which is then exposed to light to receive the image. The gelatine hardens in proportion to the amount of light received, the unexposed parts remaining soft and capable of retaining moisture, and the printing can therefore be done, lithographically: the plate is dampened with water and the ink is applied with a roller. It adheres to the surface in inverse proportion to the amount of moisture retained, the hard areas of gelatine printing the darkest. The reticulated grain of collotype is particularly good for reproducing watercolor, for which the process was much used during the latter part of the nineteenth century.

COLOR. BLOCK.
Color. blocks (or tone blocks) print the various colors in a color. or chiaroscuro woodcut. The key block prints the outline. See: chiaroscuro, color. printing.

COLOR PRINTING.
In woodcuts, color printing is done with several different color. Blocks which are overprinted. Chiaroscuro woodcuts are printed in various tones of one color. And for this reason cannot be classed as true color. prints. A more unusual method of color. Printing can be done from one assembled block; the various parts having been previously separated and inked with the different colors There are two different ways of intaglio color. Printing: with several plates, i.e. one for each color., which are overprinted juxtaposed next to each other; or with one plate which has been inked in different parts with separate colors applied with a brush or stumps of rag (a la poupee or “dolly”). Several stones are used in lithographic color. Printing, one or the other sometimes replaced by a zinc plate. Known as chromolithography (or chromo), it was a popular technique in the nineteenth century. Colors can be printed side by side, or overprinted, in screenprinting, by preparing the screen in such a way that a place is reserved for each color. without the various inks smudging. In letterpress, offset lithography and photogravure several blocks/plates are also used: there are three if the base colors, blue, red and yellow, are used (by overprinting different colors can be obtained), or four if grey or black is added to emphasize the dark areas. Printing with different colored blocks, plates or stones demands exact registration involving a careful concordance of the variously colored parts. Usually colors are printed from light to dark but often the blues are printed first. N.B. There is a difference between color. Prints and impressions taken from a single colorblock, plate or stone (other than brown or black). Neither must they be confused with handcolored prints.

CONSERVATION.
The restoration of works of art with the aim to correct damage caused by handling, excessive exposure to light, smoke, dust, humidity or aridity, and contact with liquid or any other destructive substance. Present methods allow cleaning and repair, provided that the print has not been subjected to irreversible alterations.

CONSERVATOR.
A person specially trained in the preventive care and maintenance as well as restoration of works of art and museum objects. The term restorer traditionally refers to a person trained in carrying out remedial or restorative treatments. In Francophone countries the term restaurateur covers both kinds of person; the term conservator referring to a curator or a keeper.

COPPER.
The most important metal used in engraving. It is supple to work, yet strong enough to endure the press, receptive to ink and wipes clean without leaving traces. It polishes well and is also sensitive to mordants. It does, however, tarnish quickly if left unprotected.

COPPER-FACING.
The application of a very thin layer of copper onto a metal plate by means of electrolysis. Zinc must initially be copper-faced if a steel-facing is to be applied.

COPY.
A print is a copy if the designer has taken the image from another artist.

CORROSIVE AGENTS.
Products used for cleaning and biting the various fabrics, papers, stones and metals used in printmaking are divided into three types: acids, alkalis and salts. Nitric acid is the most commonly used of the acids. It bites copper (c. 15 degrees Baume), zinc and steel (between 5 degrees 15 degrees Baume), in a rapid, shallow manner; it is also used for cleaning and for preparing the lithographic stone. Sulphuric acid is used for cleaning and biting steel. Hydrochloric acid attacks zinc and steel and in a diluted form is used for washing. Phosphoric acid is used for cleaning ferrous metals and aluminium as well as for preparing zinc and aluminium for the lithographic and offset techniques. Hydrofluoric acid attacks glass and ceramic. Acetic acid (vinegar) was formerly used frequently in the composition of etches. Of the alkalis, soda is the most commonly used: as a detergent for washing the screen, for cleaning metal plates, and for bleaching. It is used particularly on zinc, iron and aluminium, as well as on organic materials. Potash possesses approximately the same characteristics. Ammonia is used as a cleaning agent. The most frequently used of the salts is ferric chloride, a slow etch which penetrates in depth while preserving the form of the design. On account of these qualities it is much used in aquatint and photogravure.

COUTERPROOF.
An impression taken from a freshly printed sheet onto another piece of paper. It shows the design in the same direction as that on the plate, stone or block; the artist uses it for assessing corrections to be made.

COVERAGE.
The ability of an ink to cover and absorb into a surface as regards the amount required for printing. It is relative to the receptivity of the support to the ink.

CRACKS.
In grounds, paint layers, surface coatings (of paintings), the term designates a system of fissures that develop with the aging of the materials, or as a result of environmental action (expansion, contraction of the support), or a combination of both. There are various recognized systems of cracks, or craquelure, which result from both natural and environmental causes, and are characteristic too of the artist’s technique and materials.

CRAYON.
Various types of crayon are used in printmaking. The greasy lithographic crayon is made with a natural grease or a chemical. A corrective crayon is used in lithography to remove lines or blemishes.

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DABBER.
There are various types of dabbers used in printmaking. The inking dabber, a round tool, with a wide base, is covered in leather of fine skin; it is used for inking the incisions on an intaglio plate and the relief areas on a wood block. A dabber is also used for laying the ground: it is half-moon shaped, stuffed with cotton and covered in silk. In lithography, a type of wash is applied to the stone with a dabber made of a ball of cotton covered with fine skin.

DAMPENING.
1. Paper is often moistened before printing as this makes it more flexible when contact is made with the block, plate, etc., and also ensures better receptivity of the ink.
2. In lithography and offset lithography the surface of the stone must be thoroughly dampened before the printing ink is applied. This prevents the ink from adhering to the nongreased parts.

DEACIDIFY.
To chemically stabilize acidic paper; can be either an aqueous or non-aqueous treatment.

DECKLE EDGE.
The rough uneven edge on handmade paper and on some good quality machine made paper which has been left untrimmed.

DISINTEGRATION OF PAPER.
Printing error which occurs if paper that has been excessively dampened is put in the press. It becomes attached to the plate and disintegrates.

DOTTER MANNER.
A method of engraving dating from the fifteenth century. Small round holes were stamped with a punch and hammer into a metal plate which was then inked and printed as a relief block or metalcut. The stamped work appears as white dots surrounded by black and gives a crude effect of tone.

DOT WORK.
A loose description of the surface of any metal plate, either relief (see: dotted manner) or intaglio, which has been dotted or grained in a manner such as to create an impression of tone when printed. The dots can be achieved either by working directly on the plate or by etching through a ground.

DOUBLE IMAGE.
A printing error which causes the image of the print to appear twice. It occurs if the paper falls out of alignment as a result of not being properly secured during one or, more likely, two passages through the press. The blankets may also cause the paper to move if not properly fixed.

DRYING.
1. The layer of ink on a freshly printed sheet can dry in one of three different ways: by evaporation of the solvent that maintains the ink in a liquid form; by penetration of the paper; or by oxidation on contact with the air. Inks used in relief, intaglio and lithographic printing dry by penetrating the paper and by oxidation; those used in photogravure dry by evaporation and by penetration. The greasy inks used in screenprinting dry by oxidizing and by penetrating the paper; cellulose and water-based inks also dry by evaporation and by penetration.
2. The drying of paper: in intaglio and lithographic printing, the paper is dampened before an impression is taken. It is then flattened by laying it between sheets of cardboard and dried in a press for at least twelve hours.
3. Methods of drying: in most techniques, an electric drier propelling hot or cold air is used. In screenprinting, freshly printed sheets have to be placed on specially constructed racks, as it i more important for them to be kept well apart when drying than in other techniques. Usually is sufficient to make a pile of fresh impression with interleaving sheets.

DRYPOINT. (See printmaking techniques)
A method of intaglio engraving on metal.

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EMBOSSING.
A printmaking method in which a design is impressed into paper without the use of any ink, creating a heavily raised surface area.

ENGRAVER.
1. One who practices engraving.
2. The specialist who engraved on the stone in lithographic engraving: a technique which was popular when lithography had a larger industry than it has today. (Seelithography)
3. In photogravure, the line engraver specializes in the etching process.

ENGRAVING. (See printmaking techniques)
In a general sense, the word covers all works of art or industry (both plate and impression) which use incision as means of marking the design.

ENVIRONMENT, ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS.
In the context of conservation and deterioration studies, these terms refer to physical effects of the environment, such as humidity, temperature, light, pollutants of the atmosphere.

ETCHER.
An engraver who practices the etching process.

ETCHING. (See printmaking techniques)
One of the most important methods of intaglio engraving.

ETCHING “A la Plume”.
A method of intaglio printing in which a pen and ink drawing is made on a clean metal plate. When this has dried, the entire surface is covered with a light aquatint ground and placed in an acid bath which has the effect of removing the ground where it is to be found over the ink. The plate can then be bitten as for a normal etching. The technique is difficult to do well, and was much improved by the sugar-lift process.

“EX-LIBRIS”.
An owner’s mark placed in a book, usually on the inside of the cover. Engraved ones have been used since the fifteenth century.

EXPANSION.
The result of change in the dimension of a sheet of paper due to excess humidity; more pronounced across the grain than with it.

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FACSIMILE.
1. A print which is an exact copy of an original design, i.e. a “reproductive” print as opposed to an “original” print.
2. In a more specific sense it refers to the exact reproduction of a line drawing in wood engraving (as opposed to its interpretation in a brush or wash technique) and was particularly popular in the nineteenth century. Photomechanical processes are also used for obtaining facsimiles.

FADING.
The gradation of a tint in an imperceptible manner.

FALSE MARGINS.
A print may not have normal margins for a variety of reasons. In this case, it may be mounted on a larger sheet of paper which provides it with false margins.

“FECIT”.
Sometimes found after the name of the engraver or maker at the base of a print, meaning the artist whose name it follows “made it.”

FELT.
Woollen or cotton material used for packing round the printing rollers.

FIBER FILL.
Utilizing paper pulp to complete losses in a sheet of paper.

FILLET.
1. A spacer device placed between the glazing and the mount in a frame which prohibits the glazing material from coming in contact with the artwork.
2. An ornamental wood molding put outside the image and inside the matting of a framed work of art.

FIRST EDITION.
The earliest edition of a book or a print to be taken.

FLAKING.
Loss of small islands of paint, or other surface material, or even ground layers following cleavage, blistering, or buckling action in paintings or similar works of art.

FLATTENING.
A restoration procedure involving controlled humidification and controlled drying under pressure.

FORMAT.
Plates, blocks and screens, sheets of paper, film and negatives often have recurrent formats, which means that the dimensions of a print frequently recur.

FOXING, FOX MARKS.
The discoloration of paper or other surfaces by brownish or greyish spots, believed to be caused by micro-organisms (mould) developing rapidly at high humidities under stagnant conditions. This is frequently due to artworks being framed without using archival conservation framing standards. A good conservator can easily repair this type of damage.

FRONTISPIECE.
In the oldest sense of the word, the frontispiece refers to an ornate title page in a book; more recently; it has applied to an illustration placed before or opposite the title page.

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GLASS PRINTS.
The “cliche-verre” is sometimes translated as a glass print. Completely distinct from this are certain decorative items produced in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, which are also often termed “glass prints”: a mezzotint was glued face down onto glass, then rubbed from behind to remove all the paper, hand colored, and framed.

GOUGE.
A tool used for cutting wood and linoleum, specifically to clear away larger spaces of the block. Curved gouges may be obtained as well as flat ones. V-shaped.gouges are used for cutting deep, angular furrows. A gouge used in linocutting resembles a pen and is attached to a pearshaped handle.

GRADATION.
Gradual strengthening, or weakening, of a tone.

GRAIN.
1. A loose description of aquatint ground and of its resulting effect on an impression, and of any other printing element or impression with dots or grain on its surface.
2. The irregular aspect of the surface of a stone, plate or transfer paper in the lithographic method, necessary to the firm adhesion of the marks of the crayon. It is created on the stone or plate by an initial graining process. 3. The irregular aspect of the surface of paper or of transparent film used in screenprinting.

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HAND-COLORING
Hand-coloured prints have an old tradition and must be distinguished from those printed in color (color printing). Coloring is done in watercolor or gouache, with either a brush or a stencil cut to allow ink through over the necessary areas directly onto the impression (as opposed to the block, plate, etc.).

HATCHING.
Parallel lines which are cut close together in an engraving with the aim of giving an effect, en masse, of a grey or dark tone. The lines may be intersected by other parallel lines, a technique known as cross-hatching; or they may be over-hatched. Parallel marks made with a drypoint were used on geographical maps to represent water.

HC (HORS DE COMMERCE).
An impression pulled outside the edition for the personal use of the publisher or artist.

HUMIDITY.
See also relative humidity. The absolute humidity is the content of water vapor in the air measured as grams per cubic meter or in equivalent terms.

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IMITATION.
A reproduction of an original drawing or of a particular artist’s style.

IMPRESSION.
In printing terminology, an impression is any print taken from a particular block, plate, etc. The word may be qualified to indicate the type of impression, e.g. “natural” impression, pale impression, etc.

Types of impressions include:
1.”Cloudy”. If the ink is not applied evenly in screenprinting, a “cloudy” impression will result (from the French ” nuage “).

2. Loose impression. A print on Indian or Japanese paper which has not been laid down on thicker paper (to strengthen it).

3. “Natural”. From the French “epreuve nature”: an impression taken from an intaglio plate after wiping it completely clean, as opposed to leaving a film of ink on its surface, or dragging some of the ink out of the lines to create special effects.

4. “Neigeuse”. The French expression for an impression taken from a badly inked or misprinted plate which has caused white patches to appear where there ought to be lines.

5. Pale impression. One in which the design fails to show up sufficiently. This may be due to faulty printing; it also results from a plate with shallow incisions, such as one that has been well-used.

“IMPRESSIT” or “IMP”.
Indicates the name of a printer. The artist has occasionally acted in this capacity as well as making the design.

IMPRINT.
The imprint obtained by making a mould of a relief block or an intaglio plate (in, respectively, intaglio and relief).

INCANDESCENT.
As used in lighting, refers to the type of lamp with a tungsten filament. The light produced is a continuous spectrum in the visible region, and is on the ‘warm’ side, i.e. about 2,500-3,0000 Kelvin.

INITIAL.
A large typographical letter appearing at the beginning of texts. It can be specially engraved and decorated with figures or various ornaments.

INK.
Colored liquid used for writing, drawing and printing. It can be thick in texture, or even solid, in which case it is dissolved. A large number of different types of ink are used in printmaking. Drawing inks are used for preparatory designs on blocks and plates. A particular type of ink is specially prepared for drawing on lithographic stone or on autographic paper. Printing inks can either be water or oil based. In screenprinting cellulose-based and plastic inks are also used. Other inks are specially prepared for certain procedures, e.g. for use as a mordant, or in transfer lithography.

INKING.
The process of putting the required amount of ink onto the necessary parts of the printing element (i.e. the relief areas of a block, the incised parts of an intaglio plate, the greased areas of a lithographic stone). It is applied with either a roller or a dabber; on an intaglio plate pieces of muslin or a brush are also used, or it can be applied & la poupee. In screenprinting the ink is scraped over the screen with a squeegee.

INPAINTING (RETOUCHING) .
Introduction of new paint into areas of loss in an original construction.

INTAGLIO. (See printmaking techniques) A printing process in which the image is incised or etched into a metal plate using a variety of techniques and tools.

“INVENIT” or “INV.”.
Accompanies the name of the artist of the original design on a print.

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JAPAN PAPER.
A good quality paper which is lightly translucent and extremely resistant. It is used for fine impressions. Imitation Japanese paper also exists.

JAPANESE WOODCUTS.
A Japanese technique of woodcutting.

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KEY STONE.
The stone on which the original drawing is made in lithography. It can be copied for transfer impressions in order to avoid damage which may be caused by over-handling.

KEY TRANSFER.
The transfer of each color from a transparency to a block for printing in several colours. The line which forms the outline of each color on the transfer can be called the key line. (See overprinting).

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LAID PAPER.
A type of hand-made paper which shows the pattern of the vertical wire-marks and the horizontal connecting chain-lines of the wires in the papermaker’s mould.

LETTERING.
All printed inscriptions relating to the design represented in a print. Written references on prints first appeared in the fifteenth century. In the seventeenth century the lettering took on a particular importance with the addition of dedications, mottoes, tokens of esteem, etc., to the usual titles and descriptions. In the eighteenth century it became habitual to take a proof of an engraving before lettering, i.e. before any writing had been engraved. Proofs were also taken with the lettering in the process of being made, e.g. with white lettering in which only the contours of the writing have been engraved, with grey lettering in which the letters have been lightly hatched, or with scratched lettering, where the writing has been deleted. Some of the lettering concerns the fabrication of the print. The author of the design or the original painting is designated by name followed by: delineavit, del. (designed), invenit or inv. (invented), etc. The author of an engraving itself is described most frequently by:sculpsit, sculp., sc., incisit, incidit or inc. (engraved); or equally by: fecit, fee., fe., ft., or f. (made) which also applies to the craftsman of a print in any other technique. Perfecit signifies the completion of the work, possibly by a second engraver. The name of the publisher has for a long time been accompanied by excudit, excud. Orexcudebat, and more recently by chez or the Italian version appresso. The name of the printer is followed by formis and that of the lithographic printer by lith. Artists who print their own prints may inscribe after their signature imp. Or impressit. On some old French prints, the name of the dealer or tradesman is found preceded by se vend chez. Copyrights granted to engravers were expressed by A.P.D.R. Or C.P.R. (French royal privileges) and by Published According to Act of Parliament in England (from 1735).

LIGHT-STAINING.
A print which has been exposed to the light, over a long period, without any protection, becomes dusty and dirty and acquires a stained appearance.

LINE.
This refers to any line as it appears on an impression, whether taken from the inked or uninked parts of the printing element; as well as to the incisions made in a plate or block, and the marks on a lithographic stone.

SIMPLE LINE.
A single line, i.e. one that has not been strengthened by successive stages of cutting.

LINE ENGRAVING.
A term sometimes used to specify an engraving made with the burin.

LINING or RELINING.
The process of adhering a reinforcing fabric to the back of a canvas painting, giving it new strength and durability. There are two types of adhesives used: in glue lining, an aqueous glue composition is used; in the wax-resin process an adhesive composition based on beeswax is employed. In all cases, the infusion of the adhesive into voids in the paint layers serves also to consolidate weakened paint layers. Relining refers strictly to a second or subsequent lining, in which the old lining is removed and replaced.

LINOCUT.
An abbreviation of linoleum cut. The technique is a derivation of the woodcut but owing to the supple, relatively soft properties of the material, linocuts have different characteristics. The material takes all types of lines, but is most suited to large designs with contrasting dark and light flat tints. The material is cut with small pen-like tools which have a mushroom-shaped handle. The tools have a variety of forms: straight and rounded edge, double-pointed, as a chisel or a Vshaped chisel, etc. As on a woodcut, the relief parts of the block are inked. For printing a large number of important proofs, the lino is attached to a wooden block. Color printing is done with several lino blocks.

LITH.
Abbreviation of lithographer. In the nineteenth century it preceded the name of the printer at the base of numerous lithographs.

LITHOGRAPH. (See printmaking techniques)
Along with woodcutting and intaglio engraving, this is one of the oldest methods of printmaking. 

LITHOGRAPHIC ENGRAVING.
Engravings can be produced on a lithographic stone by a variety of preparations. The lines achieved slightly resemble those of a steel engraving. The technique lies half way between planographic and intaglio printing.

LITHOGRAPHIC ETCHING.
A polished lithographic stone can also be used for etching. The surface is covered with liquid ground such as is used for intaglio printing. After drying, the drawing is done with a blunt needle. A dilute acid is used as a mordant. N.B. This must not be confused with the etching used in lithography to fix the image to the stone.

LITHOGRAPHIC MEZZOTINT.
A method which is akin to mezzotint in metal engraving although it does not attain quite the same quality. Various methods of working the stone exist of which the aim is to create the white areas by scraping away parts of a specially prepared black background.

LITHOGRAPHIC WASH.
A process used in lithography for obtaining the effects of a wash drawing. It has also been known as a lithotint. It must not be confused with a lithographic aquatint in which the grain is more marked. The color is applied with a dabber.

LITHOGRAPHY.
With woodcutting and intaglio engraving, this is one of the oldest methods of printmaking. It dates from the end of the eighteenth century. It is based on the chemical fact that there is a natural antipathy between grease and water. The image is drawn on a stone with a greasy ink which is dark in color only to aid the draughtsman with his work, The stone is then thoroughly dampened; the water remains on the ungreased areas only. The printing ink is applied with a roller: it adheres only to the greased parts. Lightly dampened paper is then placed over the surface of the image, followed by a protective sheet. Stone and paper are passed through a flat-bed scraper press.

Lithographic printing is a delicate operation necessitating a careful preparation of the stone and a particular kind of inking. The prints are not marked by the effect of the press as in intaglio printing, although a slight mark indicating the edge of the stone is sometimes visible.

Transfer methods can be used to avoid the difficulties involved in moving heavy stones round a studio. The drawings are made on transfer paper which is grained, or on autographic paper which is smooth, and then transferred to the stone. Lithographic methods have also been adapted to metal plates (grained zinc and aluminium). Lithographic color printing is done with several stones (or metal plates), one for each color

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MARGIN.
Unprinted parts surrounding the design. Generally the two lateral margins are of equal length; the upper and lower margins may be equal but the latter is sometimes larger in order to allow space for signature, numeration, title, etc.; at one time it may also have contained a cartouche. A larger lower margin may be kept simply to balance the print within the sheet of paper. The size of the margins also depends on the format of the paper. Margins were usually clipped until the eighteenth century, and from the beginning of the nineteenth their existence came to be regarded as an important factor in assessing the commercial value of a print. If clipped, the impression would be worth less, particularly if printed on fine quality paper. Restored margins are known as false margins.

MARK.
1. Particular sign serving as the artist’s signature on a print.
2. A vignette, sometimes accompanied by a motto, that publishers used to place either on the title page or at the end of a book.
3. A stamp or collectors mark that identifies a prior owner of a work, usually placed on the back of the print or drawing.

MAT.
In the framing of works of art on paper, the mat is a cardboard with a cutout window placed over the work to keep it a distance away from the glass or other glazing material.

MEZZOTINT.
An intaglio printing process. The work is done in two stages. A metal plate is initially grained by working over it systematically with a spiked tool known as the rocker; this creates a multitude of fine dots all over its surface. If inked, the plate would print a rich black. The second stage of the process consists in smoothing away parts of the roughned surface with the aid of a scraper and a burnisher in order to create the white and highlighted parts of the resulting print. The scraping of the plate is a skillful job; delicate tonal transitions can be obtained if it is done well, but the flat appearance of some mezzotints is an indication of the difficulties involved. This flatness is also caused by the fact that mezzotint plates wear down very quickly. Color mezzotints can be printed with several plates, one for each color.

MIXOGRAPHY (MIXOGRAPH).
Casting a copper printing plate from a high-relief collage or maquette made up of various materials. The plate used is made up of a thick, resilent material that absorbs ink and creates a frescolike quality.

MONOGRAM.
A combination of letters, usually initials of a proper name, or an abbreviated signature. Many artists, and engravers in particular, have signed their work with a monogram; those whose names have remained unknown are called monogrammists.

MONTAGE.
The production of a composite image made from various elements as, for example, in the combination of photographic positives or negatives with drawn stencils in screenprinting.

MONOTYPE. (See printmaking techniques)
A unique image printed from a polished plate, glass, metal, or other material painted with ink.

MOULD.
1. In manual papermaking, the mould is a kind of tray, consisting of crossed wires in a wooden frame, over which the paper pulp is spread.
2. A mould is made of a block or plate, in reverse to the original, when making a replica of it (stereotype). The mould used for casting type is known as a matrix.

MOULD, MILDEW.
A large group of small fungi, the vegetative structures of which invade many organic substances. Provided sufficient moisture is present, these structures or hyphae produce enzymes that dissolve or degrade the host material. This chemical action may leave wastes that stain the hosts, such as foxing marks on paper. On maturity, reproductive structures will appear on the surface of the host as visible and often colored, furry, or web-like clusters. Until mature, mould or mildew may not be detectable except by a characteristic musty odor. Because mould requires moisture for growth, such activity may usually be arrested by maintaining a dry environment, below 65-percent RH.

MOUNT.
A protective backing of cardboard or thick paper attached to a print or drawing.

MEZZOTINT. (See printmaking techniques)
An intaglio method in which the surface of a metal plate is uniformly incised, roughened, or textured with a spurlike tool called a rocker.

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NEEDLE.
Many different types of needles (or points) are used in printmaking. The drypoint is a small, fine needle, whose point can be sharpened at various angles, each producing a different type of line. Double-ended needles possess a differently sharpened point at either end. Etching needles vary in thickness and are more or less sharply pointed, according to need; choppes are broader than usual etching needles and are sharpened in an oval section: they can produce variations in the width of a line according to the angle at which the point is held. Diamond, ruby or sapphire points are used for making light incisions in a metal plate or in a ground laid over it. Points made of ivory or bone (with more rounded ends than those of an ordinary needle) are used for tracing (to transfer a design), and for making marks on a ground without penetrating the metal plate beneath.

NEGATIVE.
A ” negative ” impression produces white areas in place of the black, or vice versa, e.g. an impression taken from an intaglio plate which has been inked with a roller.

NIELLO.
A niello is the incrustation of an engraved silver or gold plate with a metallic black enamel (Latin: “niggled”). A niello print is an impression taken from such a plate before the enamel has been poured into the furrows, or an impression taken from a sulphur cast of such a plate.

NUMBERING OF PRINTS.
Impressions taken from a particular edition are sometimes numbered. The numbers are written at the base: the number of the impression within the edition is followed by the total number printed. There usually is NO correllation between print number and where in the edition the actual print falls (i.e. print 1/100 is probably NOT the first impression taken from a plate, it’s the first numbered).

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OFFSET LITHOGRAPHY OR OFFSET.
One of the four major industrial printing techniques of which the others are: letterpress, photogravure and screenprinting. It has become the most commonly used method in commercial printing, although its importance in printmaking is not very great. It is an extension of the lithographic technique: the image is picked up from the stone, or more usually plate (either zinc or aluminium which has either been grained or covered with an absorbent oxide), by a rubber roller which then reprints it onto paper. Text and image can be transferred photographically and prepared in the usual lithographic technique based on the natural antipathy between grease and water. The advantage of offset is that it enables the damping, inking and printing itself to be done by a series of rollers which enormously speeds the operation, thereby enhancing the commercial value of the technique.

ORIGINAL.
1. The original design is the one from which a copy or tracing is made for the block, stone or plate.
2. An original print is produced when the artist himself has prepared the block, plate or stone.

OVERPAINT.
The covering over of original areas, as opposed to the limiting of retouches (in painting) to areas of damage.

OVERPRINTING.
There are three methods of color printing: by juxtaposing the colors; by mixing the colors before printing; and by printing the colors on top of each other, i.e. overprinting, to obtain gradations of tone and different colors. This latter method takes into account the principal theory that all color is composed of red, yellow and blue, and is used particularly in photomechanical processes. Photographic negatives are made of these colors by means of filters, and when transferred to plates are overprinted to build up the image.

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PAGE.
Each side of a leaf in a book is a page, whether printed or not.

PAGINATION.
Numeration of the pages in a book.

PAPER.
Papermaking involves mixing vegetable fibers and water into a paste which is then drained, pressed and dried in a mould until a sheet is formed. This has to be sized with glue or gelatine to give the paper its final appearance. Linen or cotton rags are used to make good quality paper for printmaking. “India” and Japanese papers are also imported for this use on account of their high quality. Tracing paper is used for transferring a drawing onto the plate or block. Formerly the paper with the drawing on it was covered on the verso with black or red chalk and the design was transferred to the plate by indenting its outlines on the recto. The drawing may also be pricked for transfer. Special transfer paper is used in lithography to transfer the image from the paper on which it has been drawn onto the stone. It is grained if the image has been drawn in chalk or crayon. A smooth autographic paper is used for transferring ink drawings (see: transfer). Various types of sensitized papers are used in photomechanical methods. Tissue paper is used for protecting freshly printed sheets and for wiping the plate after inking in intaglio printing. Blotting paper is used on sheets of dampened paper before printing, and for drying plates after they have been etched and washed before printing.

PAPER CONSERVATOR.
An individual professionally trained to preserve and restore paper.

PATINA.
A surface formation on an object, e.g corrosion, oxidation, discoloration, which may be either natural in origin, or artificially applied (for aesthetic reasons) by the artist or craftsman.

PHOTOGRAPHIC PROCESSES.
Photographic processes are used to create an image on sensitized paper, either by means of a negative, or by exposing the paper directly to the light, having previously blocked out parts of it with various objects. The negative may also be prepared manually, as in the cliche-verre, a process which could be classed among the printmaking techniques. Photomechanical processes are those which involve a combination of photography with traditional printmaking methods; a positive or a negative image can be reproduced on the surface of any metal plate, stone, wood block or screen, provided that it has been sensitized beforehand. Examples of photomechanical processes are: line block, halftone block, photogravure, collotype, and such techniques can also be applied to screenprinting and offset lithography. The artist can also make an image by combining photographic materials (i.e. sensitized paper, developer, fixative, etc.) in his own fashion. For a long time, photomechanical means were rejected in the definition of original printmaking, for it was not considered to be work done entirely by the artist’s hand. This restriction is no longer regarded as valid, for it is now appreciated that the artist may use any photographic means at his disposal in the making of a print.

PHOTOGRAVURE.
Sometimes known as heliogravure (particularly hand photogravure), this technique is one of the most important methods of industrial printing (the others being letterpress and offset lithography). It is an intaglio process which can be divided into two procedures: (1) Hand photogravure, a derivation of the aquatint in its method of obtaining tone. After sensitizing a copper plate and exposing it to light to form the image, resin or bitumen grain was scattered over it. The procedure continued as for a normal aquatint plate. This technique subsequently developed into a totally photomechanical process: (2) Machine photogravure, in which the tone is supplied by a cross-line screen. It was discovered that the plate could be bent into the form of a cylinder, a development which allowed very fast printing speeds (rotogravure). The technique is used more for magazines and catalogues than for print-making itself.

PHOTOLITHOGRAPHY.
A term referring to the use of photography in lithography and offset lithography.

PH VALUE.
P(otential) of H(ydrogen). A method of measuring acidity or alkalinity, numerically equivalent to 7 for neutral solutions, increasing with increased alkalinity and decreasing with increased acidity. The pH scale commonly in use ranges from 0 to 14.

PIGMENT.
The constituent in ink which gives it color

PITTING.
A fault which occurs on metal plates, particularly aluminium. Small holes are also sometimes found on the rubber roller used in offset lithography. An etching ground may also be pitted with small holes caused by an excess of heat on application of the ground.

PLASTER CAST.
A type of trial proof taken from an intaglio plate. Plaster is poured over the plate after it has been blackened with smoke, thereby producing an exact mould of the design.

PLASTIC (ENGRAVING ON).
Sheets of plastic can be engraved in the same technique as a woodcut or wood engraving. The transparency of the material greatly facilitates registration in color printing.

PLATE.
The plate is any metal printing element, whether an intaglio, relief or planographic process is employed.

PLATE MARK.
The mark imprinted by an intaglio plate onto the paper (especially visible at the edges) caused by the pressure of the rollers in the press.

PLUG.
A small piece of wood (or linoleum for a linocut) known as a “plug” is inserted into the block as a means of replacing a bad error or a damaged area in a woodcut. It is cut in accordance with the correction or restoration to be made.

POCHOIR:
A method of hand-applied coloration using a custom template. The template, or stencil, is essentially the image’s physical negative which has exposed space in order for color to be applied onto the medium (or sheet) beneath.

PORTFOLIO.
A pliable case, made of thick cardboard, frequently covered with leather or cloth, in which prints are presented, stored, and conserved.

POSITIVE & NEGATIVE.
Photographic terminology is sometimes applied to prints; i.e. a positive design is black on white, a negative one is white on black.

“POUPEE A LA”.
The French term used for a method of coloring an intaglio plate by hand. Contrary to usual methods of color printing, the different colours are all applied on one plate with the aid of a stump of rag, known as a “poupee” (or dolly).

PREPARATORY DRAWING.
Before making an engraving, woodcut, etc., a preparatory drawing is made on the surface of the printing element. It may be a tracing or transfer of the original design, or it may be an original itself, done with pencil, ink, chalk or other medium.

PRESS, PRINTING.
The three most important types of press are: (1) the relief or typographic press; (2) the intaglio printing press, also used in photogravure; and (3) the planographic press used in lithography and offset lithography. Within each of these types, the manual press is generally used by artists making their own prints, and can be distinguished from the mechanical press used in industry.
1. In the relief press (see: letterpress), a heavy rectangular element, the platen, is lowered over the bed of the press onto the paper and the block.
2. An intaglio printing press is comprised of two cylinders, between which the paper and the plate are pulled under great pressure.
3. In the lithographic press, the stone and the paper are transported by a mobile bed to a position beneath the scraper which supplies the pressure. There are different models of each type of press; they vary according to the manufacturer and the period in which they were made.

PRESSURE.
The pressure of an intaglio plate on the paper when pulled through the press results in the formation of a plate mark. In French, a distinction is made between the plate mark on the recto of the paper (“cuvette”) and that on the verso (“foulage”).

PRICKING.
A method of transferring a drawing, which consists in pricking with a fine needle the outlines of the design, leaving a series of small holes which may then be pounced. This involves shaking powdered red chalk over the dots so that a trace of the design is obtained on the paper or plate placed underneath. The process was much used in lithography for transferring drawings.

PRINT.
The image obtained from any printing element. Originally, this was either a metal plate, engraved in intaglio, or a wood block (or metal plate) cut in relief. From the beginning of the nineteenth century, lithographic stones were included, and today screenprinting adds a further type of printing element. An impression taken planographically from a painted surface may also be termed a print (See monotype). In the past, a rigid distinction was observed between prints obtained by manual processes and reproductions obtained by photomechanical methods (Seephotographic processes). This distinction has less value today, because reproductions have been incorporated into artists’ original prints and are therefore not solely produced, as originally intended, for mass production. A print is termed, “original” if the artist of the design has worked on the printing element himself, as opposed to reproductive and interpretative prints which involve the use of an intermediary person to reproduce the design onto the printing element. Original prints are often only produced in small numbers; they may be numbered and signed by the artist. These distinctions between reproductions (which occasionally may also be signed and numbered) and original prints are, however, generalized. In practice the frontiers are more imprecise, particularly in commercial printing. It must be noted that some people have a much more rigorous definition of an original print than others, e.g. of a photomechanically produced original print of which only a very small number of impressions, numeration and a certificate of authenticity will make it qualify.

PRINTING.
The action of making a print on a support, whether it be of paper or of any other material, from a block, plate or stone or through a screen, in any of the printmaking procedures.

PRINTING ELEMENT.
The part which is inked and produces the impression when printed, i.e. the block, plate, stone or screen.

PROOF.
In a general sense, this word has been used to indicate any impression of a print. Strictly speaking, it should be limited to those impressions pulled by the artist to prove or test his work, whether before or after completion of the block, plate, etc.

PROOF BEFORE LETTERING.
An impression taken before the lettering (dedication, title, names of artist, engraver, etc.) has been engraved.

PROOF WITH LETTERING.
The lettering comprises all the writing underneath or above the design on the plate, block, etc. Impressions are sometimes taken on intaglio plates with scratched letters before the lettering is properly engraved, or with it only partly inscribed.

PROOF (WITH REMARQUES).
A “remarque” is a scribbled sketch made by the artist outside his main design which is eliminated later for printing the main edition.

PROOF: ARTIST’S PROOF.
A proof reserved for the artist outside the main edition. This may be noted in the margin (E.A. on French prints means “(epreuve d’ artiste”). Some artists number these proofs. “Fine” proof. A definitive proof taken with particular care, on high quality paper, with margins. Oil proof. In the past, printers cleaned the plate with an oil-rubber and then pulled an impression from it to ensure that no ink remained in the incisions.Printer’s proof. A proof reserved for the printer. Signed proof. One which has been signed by the artist. Smoke proof. (Fr. fume) A type of trial proof taken from a wood block which has been blackened with smoke. It may be taken by the woodcutter to serve as a model for the printer. More recently, the term has been used to describe a fine quality impression taken by hand from a wood block. Trial proof. A proof taken while work is still being made on the plate, stone, etc., to test the effect of inking and from which the artist can judge the amount of additions or alterations to be made. Sometimes he may make corrections by hand on the proof itself (a “touched” proof). In the past, woodcutters pulled trial proofs by blackening the relief of the block with smoke and printing it with the aid of a burnisher or rubber. Several trial proofs may be taken until a definitive state is reached. The printer’s proof is often a trial proof. Wax proof. A type of trial proof taken from an intaglio plate. The incisions are blackened with smoke and an impression is taken onto a sheet of paper covered with white wax which picks up the design.

PROVENANCE.
A history of ownership. The provenance of some works of art can be traced back to the time that they were made.

PULP.
The fibrous substance resulting from the pulping process in papermaking.

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RAKING LIGHT.
The technique of illumination of the surface of a work of art (painting) at one side, and at a very low (grazing) angle, which accentuates through shadow effects the contours, texture, and other features. Damage such as cracks, losses, cleavages, show up clearly in this manner.

REAM.
480 sheets of paper.

RECEPTIVITY.
In printing terminology, a surface is said to be receptive if it retains the ink well. The word is applied to the rollers, the paper, or the plates to be inked. Too much ink makes the impression heavy and thick, too little will render it pale and irregular. Receptivity is also applicable to the rubber rollers used in offset lithography, as well as to a freshly glued surface in its “receptivity” of the other surface which is to adhere to it.

RECTO.
1. The front of an object.
2. The right hand page of an open book or manuscript.

REGISTRATION.
Owing to the number of plates or blocks, etc., used in color printing, a careful registration is required to ensure that each element prints in the correct position. The method of doing it varies according to the technique. In intaglio printing and lithography, needles are pierced through the paper into holes, specially placed for this purpose in the plate or stone.

RELIEF.
As opposed to intaglio and planographic printing, the black areas of an impression taken from a block cut in relief are made by inking the raised parts, thereby leaving the furrows to print white.

REPRODUCTION.
Before the introduction of photography, a work was reproduced by either copying it identically, or interpreting it as closely as possible if a different technique to that of the original was used. Engraving, wood engraving and lithography were the most common methods of reproduction. A print is therefore termed reproductive if it is made by someone other than the artist of the original design, as opposed to an original print which is made by the artist himself. These distinctions are many times blurred in contemporary print-making where it seems that these days anything goes.

RESTORATION.
Usually refers to corrective and restorative measures to compensate for damages, deterioration and other defects. An attempt is made to return the work, if not to its original condition, to a satisfactory aesthetic state. Restoration is now considered an aspect of conservation.

REVERSE, IN.
1. The design of a print is always drawn in the reverse sense on the block, plate or stone, so that it will print the correct way round.
2. An image is reversed in all printing procedures except screenprinting. The engraver, lithographer or woodcutter must, accordingly, always work in reverse to his original design; a mirror is sometimes employed as an aid.

REWORK.
When part of the printing element has been corrected or touched up.

ROULETTE.
An engraver’s tool, having a revolving circular head, with either a single serrated edge (the simple roulette), or a wider surface dotted or lined in a variety of forms. It is used in some of the dot processes (also known as crayon manner) with the aim of creating areas of tone on an impression; may be used either directly on the metal plate or through the intervention of an etching ground. A tool similar to the simple roulette was used, particularly in the nineteenth century, to perforate drawings (See pricking); and, in letterpress, to make dotted lines on sheets destined to be detached.

ROYAL.
A format of paper (620 X 500 mm.).

RUBBING.
A method of taking an impression from a relief block with a leather rubber or a burnisher used manually on the verso-of the paper. Rubbing in lithography. 1. Rubbing ink is a soft ink applied directly to the stone with the fingertip when drawing the design. 2. A crayon or ink drawing may be rubbed with a stump or a brush to create a soft effect.

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SCREEN.
The printing element in screenprinting. It is made by stretching material (silk, nylon, metal mesh, etc.) over a frame.

SCREENPRINTING.
An ancient method of oriental printmaking which, considerably modified and ameliorated, has become one of the four most important methods of modern printing. Contemporary artists have made much use of it as a printmaking technique. The principle of screenprinting consists in applying stencils to a screen (constructed of silk or of some synthetic or metallic material), in such a way that when ink is applied it is prevented from passing through some parts while penetrating the rest of the screen, thereby printing an image on paper placed underneath. The screen is stretched across a frame and attached to a base in such a manner that it can readily move up and down, so that paper can be easily placed and removed as required. For each impression, the paper is placed against registration tabs to ensure that the printing is done in the correct position. The ink is poured over the masking at one end of the screen and when this has been lowered into position, the ink is scraped across the screen with the aid of a squeegee. The most important part of the process is the preparation of the screen. Stencils may be applied in a variety of ways, including the use of filling-in liquid, varnish or plastic film. A drawing can be made directly on the surface with a special ink which is removed in readiness for printing after the rest of the screen has been blocked out. A photographic stencil is made by initially sensitizing the screen.

SIGHT EDGE.
This refers to the work of art visible to the viewer. The actual edge of a painting or drawing may be concealed by the frame or mat.

SILKSCREEN.
The term usually used in America for screenprinting.

SIZING.
A substance added to paper to create a degree of water resistance.

SOFT-GROUND ETCHING.
One of the etching processes which aims to simulate the effects of a chalk or crayon drawing. The plate is initially covered with a soft ground. The drawing is made with a hard crayon on paper which has been pressed to the surface of the grounded plate; the ground adheres to the back of the paper where the crayon has left indentations in it, thereby creating an impression on the plate of the marks of the crayon. The paper with the attached ground is carefully removed and the plate is bitten. It is possible to reproduce any kind of texture with this method: textiles, rough papers, netting or leather can be pressed into a soft ground in a similar fashion.

SPLATTER.
A method of applying the ink in lithography. It is sprayed through a metal mesh onto the stone with the aid of a stiff brush. Areas which are to remain white or be very lightly splattered are protected with gum Arabic (staging out).

STATE.
The proofs taken while the artist is working on the plate, stone, etc. to check different stages of his progress are known as states; each one showing additional working constitutes a different state. The last one is said to be the definitive state (or proof).

STEEL-FACING.
A process consisting of depositing, by electrolysis, a very thin layer of iron onto a copper plate in order to reinforce it. Copper, the most commonly engraved metal, can become scratched and worn down through use. Furthermore, the wheels of the press tend to flatten out the indentations, removing the finest ones altogether, and rub away the idiosyncratic burr on plates engraved with the drypoint. In this respect steel-facing is an added protective and allows a greater number of impressions to be made while maintaining a constant quality. The steel-facing can be removed if reworking on the plate is required. Zinc must be faced with copper before being steel-faced. Chromium is sometimes used instead of steel, generally in photogravure, to strengthen the printing drums. It has the advantage of preventing oxidation (it is necessary to varnish or grease a steel-faced plate), and of producing a surface that facilitates wiping at the time of printing.

STEEL PLATES.
Iron plates are known to have been used before the sixteenth century and Durer made several etchings on this metal. Steel, made from a mixture of iron and a slightly larger proportion of carbon, did not become generally used until the end of the eighteenth century, and this was particularly in England. It can either be etched or engraved: frequently the indentations on the plate are first made with acid and then finished off with the burin. A steel plate has a particularly clean, sharp line that can be extremely fine; it also produces many more impressions than a copper plate. It is used in particular for book illustrations, stamps, book-plates, vignettes and greeting cards.

STENCIL.
1. Stencils are an essential part of screenprinting: they are attached to or incorporated with the screen to ensure that the ink passes through in the correct places. They can be made in many different forms, e.g. as a simple masking or covering stencil; as a “wash-out” stencil, which involves drawing the design on the screen in a greasy substance, then covering the whole screen with filler or gum, and finally dissolving the greasy image in turps, thereby forming a 11 positive ” stencil; or as a photo-stencil, whereby photographic images are incorporated into the screen.
2. Stencils are also used for coloring prints by hand. Stencils of the areas to be colored are cut out in zinc or aluminium; the colors are dabbed on with a large brush (known as a ” pompon ” in French); they may be juxtaposed or superimposed over each other. The method was much used in the coloring of maps, topographical prints and devotional woodcuts. It is still used today for book illustration and on greeting cards. See: hand-colouring, registration.

SUBSTRATE.
The primary layer of material; can relate to a mount substance or the base material upon which a work of art is executed.

SUGAR-LIFT PROCESS.
A method of defining drawn areas on an intaglio plate. The necessary area is painted directly onto the metal surface with Indian ink in which sugar has been dissolved. This is covered with a stopping-out varnish and, when the latter has dried, submerged in water which causes the sugar mixture to swell, removing the varnish and exposing the metal at the parts where the drawing has been made.

SUITE.
A set of prints dealing with the same subject, or by the same artist, which are published as a whole. It can also refer to a series of prints taken apart from an illustrated book.

SULPHUR PRINT.
There are various ways in which sulphur is involved in printmaking. (1) A mixture of flowers of sulphur and olive oil can be applied directly to the surface of a metal plate to produce a tone similar to that of an aquatint. Some engravers spread the oil on first, and then apply the powdered sulphur. (2) A sulphur proof may be taken onto a sheet covered with sulphur, from an intaglio plate in which the incisions have been previously filled with lamp black.

SUPPORT.
In a painting, the physical structure that holds or carries the ground and paint film. Any material, such as fabric, wood, metal or paper, on which a work of art is executed, serving as a structural base.

SURFACE TONE.
If a plate is not completely wiped before printing, ” surface tone ” is created by the films of ink left on its surface. Selective wiping creates surface tone.

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TINT.
Generally speaking, a tint can be any color; more specifically it is a variant shade obtained by mixing one color with another, particularly white. The delicate series of lines used to denote areas of shade (as opposed to those representing line) in wood engravings, were at one time known as “tints”; hence tint tool, the type of burin used to produce them.

TONE.
The particular shade of a color; in printing terminology, tone is opposed to line. It refers to non-linear techniques, such as wash or paint, etc., and its interpretation into prints is effected by the tonal processes, e.g. aquatint, brush etching, dotted manner, stipple.

TRANSFER.
The removal of the support (e.g. wood) of a painting and its replacement by a more stable support. Partial transfer refers to retention o the original ground layer with possibly a thin layer of wood, before reinforcing with the new support material.

TRANSMITTED LIGHT.
The illumination of an object by placing the light source behind and viewing from the front. Useful in revealing crack systems and other forms of separation.

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ULTRAVIOLET LIGHT.
Primarily invisible light, ranging from the x-ray region, about 4 nanometers wavelength to just beyond the violet in the visible spectrum, about 380 nanometers.

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VARNISH.
Usually refers to the thin protective and aesthetic coating on a work of art or museum object. There are natural and synthetic resin varnishes.

VERSO.
1. The reverse or back of an object.
2. The left hand page of an open book or manuscript.

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WATERMARK.
Manufacturer’s mark made in the paper. It is recognizable by its transparency.

WIPING (THE PLATE).
In all intaglio printing methods the plate is wiped after it has been inked; the white areas of a print will not appear clean unless this is done very thoroughly. Some ink may be purposefully left on the plate to create surface tone, or some may be dragged out of the lines for further effect.

WOODCUT. (See printmaking techniques)
A method of relief printing in which wood is the printing element.

WOODCUT ENGRAVING. (See printmaking techniques)
Another method of relief printing in which wood is the printing element.

WOVE PAPER.
A type of handmade paper produced from a mould with a mesh so tightly woven as to leave no visible pattern.

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ZINCOGRAPHY.
A term sometimes adopted from the French, meaning the use of lithography on a zinc plate. As zinc may also be etched, it is best to avoid use of the term without specification, since it could be taken to imply this different technique as well.

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