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About Printmaking

Like the development of spoken and written language, the invention of paper and printing was a huge step for humankind. Religions spread over countries, various kinds of information could be widely communicated. Over centuries, printmaking techniques emerged, had their primes, and were replaced by others. Today, some of them are mainly or exclusively used as artist mediums.

On these pages, I give information about several printmaking techniques or related themes.

Intaglio is an old European printmaking technique, for centuries practiced the old way with oil-based, often toxic materials. Meanwhile new, water-based acrylic grounds allow to work under much less toxic conditions. Another new option is the photopolymer film , which makes it possible to transfer any image by uv-exposure onto a plate, and the old technique of photogravure, which gives the finest results in photo etching (but requires toxic materials).

In the field of woodblock, the traditional Japanese woodblock is a highly interesting technique. The use of water-based inks, applied with brushes, and the hand-rubbing with the printing tool baren results in a very painterly appearance. This technique, which requires only non-toxic materials, can be practiced today exactly as it was during the classic days of Japanese printmaking in the Edo period, hundreds of years ago. Here you can see some contemporary works printed the Japanese way.

A wonderful craft and indispensable for Japanese woodblock printing is the Japanese papermaking.

The origin of woodblock printing and printing in generell is China. Traditional Chinese woodblock fascinates us with finest lines and perfectly copied water-colours. Here I show some classical woodblock prints from the Ming Period. I give an introduction to the new-year images of the Chinese Folk Art Print. Here you also find a short report of my experience with working onto Chinese porcelain.

Screen Printing is a young, formerly commercial printing technique, based on stencilling. Here I present a formula for producing a water-based paste for screen printing. And here you find an introduction of katazome, a traditional Japanese stencil technique, used for dying fabric and paper.



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