ACID FREE – use to describe materials having a pH of 7 or higher when the concern is that there be little or no acid present to accelerate aging or deterioration.

AQUATINTS – Method of etching prints with the effect of a watercolor. Resin powder is applied to the etching plate and heated until the grains melt and adhere to it. The plate is then immersed in acid successively until the required image appears on areas of metal exposed between the resin grains.

CARBORUNDUM – A hybrid intaglio and relief process using a three-dimensional surface that is built up on a plate using a combination of acrylic modeling paste, ground stone particles and resin.

CHINE COLLE – A process used to adhere different colored or textured papers onto a print. Sometimes a transparent paper is applied over already printed area.

CRAQUELURE – A network of fine fracture lines in the coating layer, such as a ground, paint layer, varnish or glaze.

ENGRAVING – An intaglio process, whereby the artist uses a sharp tool called a “burin” or “graver” to make incisions and cut grooves into the metal plate, resulting in crisp and controlled ink-bearing lines. Often engraving and etching are combined in a single plate.

ETCHING – This process uses acid to create recessed ink-bearing lines. The plate is first covered with a thin acid ground, usually wax. The artist uses a needlepoint to draw the image into the ground, exposing the metal underneath. The plate is then placed in acid and the exposed marks are bitten away, forming the image. Color is achieved either by using separate plates inked with only one color or by applying several colors to a single plate.

FOXING – Pale, brown, diffuse spots that appear on paper or other surfaces, probably either from mold growth or metallic impurities in the paper.

GICLEE – A French term meaning “spray of ink”; a digital printing technique that uses a fine stream of ink, more than four million droplets per second, that is sprayed onto archival paper or canvas. The original image is digitized, and the material to be printed on is affixed to the drum of an ink-jet printer (usually an Iris), which then rotates
at high speed. The spray of water-based inks is controlled by exact calculations of hue, value and density.

INTAGLIO – Prints made from metal plates either engraved by hand or etched by acid. Inks are applied to the heated plate and worked into the crevices. The surface is then wiped clean. Dampened paper is laid on the inked plate, then placed between layers of felt blankets and then passed between rollers of the press. The pressure transfers the ink from the plates indented surface onto the paper, leaving a sunken plate mark impressed upon the paper.

LIMITED EDITION – An image produced via a variety of printing methods in multiple forms. Each edition is limited to a specified number of prints available for sale, as well as a specified number of Artist Proofs (A.P.), Printers Proofs (P.P.) and Presentation Proofs (H.C.). The numbered prints for sale show the number of the individual prints in the edition, i.e. 2/100.

LITHOGRAPH – A printing technique by which the artist traditionally draws directly onto a stone or metal plate with grease-based materials. The image itself has to be drawn in reverse on the plate so that it become right reading when transferred to paper on a flat bed screw press. By a succession of simple chemical processes, the marks of the drawing are bonded to the surface and made highly receptive to oil and fully resistant to water. The plate is then dampened with water, which adheres to the non-image area repelling the oily printers inks, then applied which adhere only to the drawn image.

MEZZOTINT – An engraving technique whereby the surface of the plate is evenly and systematically roughened all over with a “rocker” toll. The texture produced by it will print solid black. Scraping and burnishing the textured surface to varying degree achieve the full tonal range in the final print. The Roughest areas retain the moist ink and those polished smoothest retain little or no ink.

MONOPRINT – A monotype using a repeatable printing element such as a lithograph or etching plate.

MONOTYPE – A unique print made from painting on a nonabsorbent material such as a Plexiglas – which is transferred onto paper by hand-pressure or by press. It is possible, however, to design an image, which can be repeated more than once by repainting the surface after each impression. Each subsequent print will have noticeable differences, however. Artists use a variety of pigments to apply color such as printer’s inks, oil paints, pastels and watercolors, using rollers, rugs, brushes or their fingers.

SEPIA OR BROWN TONED PRINT – A photograph that has been treated with a chemical solution to permanently plate the silver particles of the image with a sepia or brown-colored tone. The underlying characteristics of the photographic print, the concentration of the chemical toner and the length of exposure to the toner, among other things, greatly influence the effect that is created. Fine art sepia and brown toned prints are often made on a special fiber-based paper to ensure quality and longevity.

SERIGRAPH OR SILKSCREEN – This process uses stencils, normally made of fine nylon or polyester mesh (real silk screens are rarely used today). Selected areas are blocked out, either by screen filters, paper or photographic stencils so that the ink is prevented from penetrating through the mesh to the paper below. A new screen is made for each color in the design and applied individually to the paper building up the final image step by step. Although paper is normally used, this method of printing can be used on virtually any flat surface, including wood, plastic, glass or wood.

SILVER GELATIN PRINT – More commonly known as “black and white photographs”, silver gelatin prints are made on paper coated with light-sensitive silver nitrate emulsions; special fiber-based paper also is often used to ensure quality and longevity.

TROMPE L’OEIL – French term meaning deception of the eye applied to images so realistic that they may fool the viewer into thinking that the objects or scenes represented are real rather than images.

WATERMARK – Devices incorporated into paper as it is made and appearing as translucent areas; often used to give the name of the manufactures and the date of the paper’s manufacture.

WOODCUT – A relief made from a woodblock that has been cut or incised. The non-printing area is cut away, leaving the image, which is inked.