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The Printing Process

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Printmaking is a  difficult approach to artistic expression.  Since the viewed image is actually a mirrored image of the template, right becomes left;  backward becomes forward.  The artist then is a printer of original prints in which the artist first draws the image, then transfers it to a plate or block and then inks it.  Each print needs inking and a manual press is rolled over the plate and paper.  These are called multiple originals. They are always of low numbered limited editions.  For example, if the number on a print is 3/25, that means the print is the third one printed out of a total of twenty five.

Do not confuse these originals with printed reproductions, which are
done in a print shop and are produced in large quantities.  Following are the two processes utilized by Milda Spindler for her
work:


The Etching Process
    The making of etchings is a complex process requiring a talented atist and specialized studio equipment and various chemicals.  The printmaker draws an image on paper.  The artist transfers it to a metal plate, usually copper or zinc, which she has covered with an acid-resistant coating. She uses a needle tool to scratch through the coating to expose the metal.  The completed plate is etched  in an acid bath. The acid removes and alters the exposed image in the metal and provides   definition and relief.   A  proof is made for the artist to inspect the quality of the work. Then a limited edition is printed.   Thus, printmaking provides deferred gratification for the artist who may spend several days and even weeks to produce that first acceptable proof.  For each print, the plate must be prepared and inked.  The print is made, then the plate is cleansed and prepared for the next use. When completed, the prints are allowed to dry then signed and numbered.   The plate is destroyed when the edtion is complete. This insures their uniqueness.

Relief Printing
    Relief (or block) printing is done on a wood block or piece of
linoleum.  The artist draws an image on the block, then cuts away the
negaive spaces so that only the image remains.  The block is then inked evenly.   A piece of rice paper is placed over it, and the image is
burnished.  For each print the artist has to ink the block and hand burnish it.   These are multiple originals as each one must be hand printed.

@2001Copyright Milda Spindler         Last Update 06/08/02.