In many houses, to this day, flat black pieces of wood with uncomplicated pictures cut into them have been preserved. The few owners of this Soviet consumer goods are still confident that they possess objects of art called prints. Not that they are completely wrong, although real art is out of the question here. Just printmaking is a much broader concept than many people think. We understand: print – what is it?
About the meaning of this word
The word “print” is a Russian version of the term brought to us from Europe, where it appeared as early as the 14th-15th centuries (in French, estampe, in Italian, stampa), and was directly associated with the development of typography. The print was called an engraving or some other impression from a matrix (printed form) on a paper sheet. At first, printmaking was not a self-sufficient form of art, but was only a technical method of reproduction of images. Moreover, it is very laborious, requiring laboriousness and highest craftsmanship from the performer. But since then the technique of print has been constantly developed and improved. It was overgrown with unexpected methods, it took new shapes, and therefore it is no longer so easy to determine the meaning of a word. Prints in our time – this is the generalized name of many types of art.
About types of print
Trying to understand what is the technique of prints, let us turn first to the story. Before the image is printed on paper, it must be painted or engraved on some basis: wood, metal, etc. First wood engravings began to appear, later – on copper. Over time, other varieties of such techniques appeared. Convex and in-depth engraving – their technology differed only in what color of the print would correspond to the indentations on the matrix board. Lithograph – paint was applied on a flat surface, and the resulting print, as a rule, had no relief. Currently, prints, depending on the method of their production, can be attributed to several types: high and intaglio printing, flat, stencil. Each of these species, in turn, is divided into groups. Let’s talk about this in a bit more detail.
Graphics in Greek is a drawing. Transferred subsequently to another material graphics – print. But no need to consider the prints as some ancient, antediluvian skill: this type of art is popular in many countries to this day. For example, in Mexico, regularly held contests and exhibitions that help those who want to master this common occupation in the country. After viewing the works of local craftsmen, the answer to the question: “Pristamp – what is it?” – will sound like this: “Pristamp is the combined talent of the artist and the carver.” After all, the technology works for a long time almost unchanged. The desired design is applied to the hardwood board with incisors, then it is coated with ink with a roller. And then a sheet of paper is attached to the board and pressed by the press. Prints can be done very much, and each will be considered as the original.
And yet, the question “Pristamp, what is it?” You should not rush to answer: “Craft”. Postamp is an art that even the most eminent painters did not shy away from. One of the types of prints – etching – became known, including through the work of such geniuses of his time as Rembrandt and Goya. The word “etching” (from the French words eau-forte, water is strong, that is, nitric acid) means the type of engraving on metal, a method that allows you to get prints from typographical forms, pre-treated with acids. A drawing is made with a needle on a metal board, then the deepening of the image elements is enhanced by metal etching with acids. Later etched places are filled with paint and on special machines they print an impression on a moistened sheet of paper. The technology is not simple, but the result! The brilliant Albrecht Dürer became famous for his etchings, but many other well-known or already forgotten masters worked in the same technique.
About silk screening
The answer to the question “Silk-screen printing” will be correct for the question “Printed, what is it?” Silk-screen printing, or screen printing, is a method of reproducing texts or drawings using a printing stencil form, due to which the paint gets on the material prepared for this purpose. The method using photo emulsions is a lot like the process of printing photos. Currently, screen printing is especially popular, as the most technological. The area of its use is almost unlimited: from chips to huge posters, from one copy to thousands of copies. Screen printing method is applicable for paper and textiles, for ceramics and synthetic materials. Silk-screen printing is ideal for decoration of products of various shapes and purposes: jars, bottles, latex balloons, etc.
But silk screening is not only of great practical importance. Silk-screen printing is also a very interesting type of art that gained popularity in the last century. He was even approached by such famous personalities as Jackson Pollock and Fernand Leger, Andy Warhol and a number of other wonderful, not similar to each other masters. They proved: printmaking – it can be great!