Printing presses

Graphic techniques



Printing technigues




printing is a technique for printing images or patterns that was used widely throughout East Asia. It originated in China in antiquity as a method of printing on textiles and later on paper.


is the process of using acid to cut into the unprotected parts of a metal surface to create a design in intaglio in the metal.

As an intaglio method of printmaking, it is, along with engraving, the most important technique for old master prints, and remains in wide use today.


Intaglio printing

In the form of intaglio printingcalled etching, the plate is covered in a resin ground or an acid-resistant wax material. Using an etching needle, the image is engraved into the ground, revealing the plate underneath. The plate is then dipped into acid. The acid bites into the surface of the plate where it was exposed. Biting is a printmaking term to describe the acid's etching, or incising, of the image. 

After the plate is sufficiently bitten, the plate is removed from the acid bath, and the ground is removed to prepare for the next step in printing.
To print an intaglio plate, ink is applied to the surface by wiping and/or dabbing the plate to push the ink into the bitten grooves. 

The plate is then rubbed with tarlatan cloth to remove most of the excess ink. A damp piece of paper is placed on top of the plate, so that when going through the press the damp paper will be able to be squeezed into the plate's ink-filled grooves. 

Another tonal technique, mezzotint, begins with a plate surface that is evenly indented so that it will carry a fairly dark tone of ink.

The mezzotint plate is then smoothed and polished to make areas carry less ink and thus print a lighter shade. Alternatively, beginning with a smooth plate, areas are roughened with a tool to make them darker.



(from Greek λίθοςlithos, "stone" + γράφεινgraphein, "to write") is a method of printing originally based on the fundamental antipathy of oil and water. Printing is from a stone (lithographic limestone) or a metal plate with a smooth surface.  Lithography originally used an image drawn with oil/fat/wax on the surface of lithographic limestone plate, which after being treated with a mixture of acid (etching) and gum arabic, and then with water, did attract ink, but only in the drawing's sticky areas and not in the wet etched areas clear of oil/fat/wax, which application prevented etching. The ink was then transferred to a blank paper sheet producing a printed page.



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