Relief - basic printing technique. The process involves printing from a raised surface where the non-image areas have been cut away. Wood is commonly used for relief printing.
Wood cut - the oldest and simplest forms of printmaking. A variety of tools (both handheld & power tools) can be used to cut the image into a block of wood. Paper is placed over the inked block and rubbed by hand or passed through a press to transfer the ink from block to paper to create the image. This is a cheap and easy way to make a print, which is why it has been so popular for so long.
Linocut - linoblock consists of a layer of linoleum, usually mounted on a block of wood. This soft material is easily carved using knives and gouges. This is a newer technique, and the linocut process produces a more intricate and detailed print.
Engraving - a handheld steel tool, called a burin, is used to engrave into a piece of metal or wood. Great skill is required to manipulate the burin as it is pushed at different angles and degrees of pressure to produce a characteristic thin to thick line.
Etching - a sharp needle is used to scratch the image through the ground, exposing the metal. The plate is then immersed in an acid bath where the drawn marks are etched. The characteristics of the marks produced depend on the tool used to draw the image, the type of ground coating the plate and the length of time the plate is etched in the acid bath. Etching is seen as a complex and skilled print making technique.
Screenprint - a stencil is adhered to a material and stretched tightly over a frame. The image areas are open fabric through which ink or paint is forced with a squeegee. Screenprints can be made onto almost any material, and produces an effective outcome.
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