QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
What Everyone Wants to Know
WHAT IS PRINTMAKING?
Printmaking is an artistic process based on the principle of transferring images from a matrix onto another surface, most often paper or fabric. Traditional printmaking techniques include woodcut, etching, engraving, and lithography, while modern artists have expanded available techniques to include screenprinting.
A matrix is essentially a template, and can be made of wood, metal, or glass. The design is created on the matrix by working its flat surface with either tools or chemicals. The matrix is then inked in order to transfer it onto the desired surface. To print from a matrix requires the application of controlled pressure, most often achieved by using a printing press, which creates an even impression of the design when it is printed onto the paper or fabric. (More modern printmaking techniques, such as screenprinting, do not require a press.) The resulting print is often the mirror image of the original design on the matrix. One of the great benefits of printmaking (save for monotype) is that multiple impressions of the same design can be printed from a single matrix.
WHAT IS A LINOCUT?
Linocut, also known as lino print, lino printing or linoleum art, is a printmaking technique, a variant of woodcut in which a sheet of linoleum (sometimes mounted on a wooden block) is used for a relief surface. A design is cut into the linoleum surface with a sharp knife, V-shaped chisel or gouge, with the raised (uncarved) areas representing a reversal (mirror image) of the parts to show printed. The linoleum sheet is inked with a roller (called a brayer), and then impressed onto paper or fabric. The actual printing can be done by hand or with a printing press.
WHERE DO YOU MAKE YOUR PRINTS?
I am a co-op member at a printing press called Red Delicious Press. It's located in an old library building in Aurora, Colorado. Red Delicious Press has multiple types and sizes of presses and lots of space to work.