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An intaglio etching process used to create a range of tone. A fine rosin is dusted over the plate and it is then heat fused. Acid is used to etch through the finely grained resist of the rosin dust.

Catalogue Raisonné

A scholarly reference text in which each print known to have been produced by a particular artist is completely documented and described. The information given may include title, alternate titles, date, medium, size of the edition, image size, paper used, and other pertinent facts. The term is also used for similar catalogues of paintings, sculptures, drawings, watercolours, or other works by a single artist or workshop.



Collagraphy is a process in which materials are applied to a rigid substrate such as mount board or wood. Ink or pigment is applied to the resulting collage and the board is used to print onto paper or other substrates using either a printing press or hand burnishing. The resulting print is termed a collagraph.

Substances such as carborundum, acrylic mediums, sandpapers, bubble wrap, string, card and natural objects can all be used in creating the collagraph plate.

Collagraphy is a very open and experimental printmaking method.


Digital Printing

The computer is an important creative tool for many printmakers. A digital file can be used to create stencils for litho/screenprint/photo etching and also to drive laser and engraving tools. The work that is sold may be the digital file itself or a printed image of that file, commonly an inkjet print. The creative process still has to be generated by the artist whether using the computer as a tool or a burin or lithographic crayon. Many art galleries and institutions have digital prints in their collections.



An intaglio technique which does not involve the use of acid. A sharp, round point is used to scratch the image and where the metal is thrown up on either side of the scored line it produces a burr, creating a characteristic soft, rich line. The plate can wear quickly during the printing process.

Editions Variable

This describes an edition where the artist has introduced subtle differences between each of the prints in the edition. This could be through many means including changes in the inking process or spot hand colouring.



A design is impressed into the paper with intaglio or relief printmaking processes but without using any ink. This creates an area of raised relief.



An intaglio technique in which the surface of the plate is covered with an acid resistant material called ground. The image is drawn into this to expose the metal underneath. The plate is then immersed in an acid bath. Only the exposed parts of the plate are bitten (etched) away by the acid. The depth of the etch is controlled by how long the plate is in the acid and how strong the acid is. The most deeply bitten lines will hold the most ink and be the darkest areas of the print.

How do I find a good framer?

Print Club Bristol can recommend framers and what you need to look for. A professional framer will listen carefully to what you want but will also give you good advice on archival quality materials and tailor it to suit your budget.

Poor framing can destroy a print, so it is important that you are able to discuss what you would like with your framer. Your framer may use terms you do not understand – don’t be afraid to ask what they mean. A good framer will happily explain the terms and discuss all your options within your budget.

How do I look after my print?

When you buy a print we will tell you how to look after it. All print information is included with the sale including how to look after and conserve the work.

How do I store my print?

Keep your print out of direct sunlight as this can cause damage to the ink and paper. Keep your print protected from dust and dirt by placing your print, wrapped in acid free tissue in a drawer to store it flat and keep the edges from curling and/or tearing. If you are storing a framed print place it somewhere dry, free from damp and without extremes in temperature until you can hang it. Ensure your framer uses archival quality materials.

I have damaged my print – what can I do?

Paper is vulnerable to damage, although it can be repaired. We recommend consulting a professional conservator as s/he will have expert knowledge of the appropriate materials to use, and will be able to document the treatment. Contact your local local museum and art gallery.

Bristol Museum & Art Gallery

I want to sell my print; how do I find out how much it is worth?

You need to judge its condition, rarity, and demand. You could research its value on line or speak with a print expert such as Alan Cristea or Bonhams


Screenprinting is a form of stencil printing, made by printing through an intermediary surface – the screen mesh. This is a frame over which a fine, polyester mesh is tautly stretched. The ink is forced through the mesh onto the paper beneath using a squeegee (rubber blade). Areas of the screen are masked off to define the image. A different screen is used for each separate colour. As well as being a fine art process, screenprinting has a direct association with commercial and industrial printing processes being used extensively in graphic, ceramic and textile design. It is a colourful and versatile medium which artists can adapt to the context of their work.



Lino has become a popular alternative to wood. It is easy to cut and the material is gouged out to produce a similar effect to woodcut. The techniques are very similar to woodcut but different in style and surface quality. In linocut, tools cut easily in all directions but with woodcut it is easier to cut along or with the grain.


Images are created using drawing and painting techniques. The image is drawn with greasy crayons on a grease sensitive surface with the non-printing areas treated with water based materials to keep them clean. The printing ink sticks only to the sensitised greasy areas.



An intaglio technique that does not involve using acid. The surface of the plate is pitted with minute indentations – using a rocker – which hold the ink. Tones are achieved through burnishing the plate.


An image printed from a reprintable block, plate or screen but printed in such a way that only one of its kind exists. It may incorporate other processes such as hand colouring or collagraph.


A method of etching a plate using a photographic light sensitive coating, which is then etched and printed in the intaglio method.

Polymer Photo Gravure

This technique stems from the traditional technique of copper plate photogravure. Photogravure is a method developed in the 19th Century to create continuous tone images on copper plate. More recently artists have been using presensitised steel backed polymer nylon plates to create both autographic and photographic images on the plate. The technique is similar to the above but differs in that the plate is developed in water. The water acts like an acid and develops indentations in the plate which later on hold ink. The plate is then printed in the traditional intaglio fashion.


A publisher is one who underwrites the printing and marketing of an artist’s prints. An artist may be his own publisher, but this is no longer as common as it was. A publisher brings together artist and printer (assuming the artist does not do his or her own
printing). The printer may also himself be a publisher. This is not a new idea. There were print publishers already in the sixteenth century and the great majority of original prints made in the nineteenth century were commissioned and brought to market by publishers.


Screenprint Carborundum (photocarborundum)

A process of printing a carborundum mix through a photographically created stencil on a silkscreen. The carborundum mix is printed through the mesh onto a matrix and printed in the intaglio method.

What are editions?

An edition is the total number of impressions made from a single plate or screen. Usually the edition is made by the artist, sometimes in conjunction with a printer or master printmaker.

Limited edition prints are traditionally signed and numbered in pencil with the edition number on the bottom left, the title in the middle and signature on the right. It is generally accepted that the printmaker can mark A/P (Artists Proof) on up to ten per cent of the edition – so an edition of 100 would have numbers 1/100 – 100/100 and an extra ten marked A/P.

When an artist’s heirs give permission for the printing of an edition or second edition, it is known as a posthumous edition. Posthumous editions should be limited and documented
just as in standard printing practice, though not necessarily hand-numbered. Editions that were pencil-signed in their original state frequently bear stamped signatures authorized by the artist’s heirs or the publisher in their posthumous state.

A second edition is a later printing made from the original matrix after an edition of declared number has already been printed. Second editions are usually only made with explicit authorisation from the artist and should be annotated as such. A photographically produced replica of the original print, whether printed in a limited edition or not, is not a second edition; it is a reproduction.

What are proofs?


An A/P stands for Artist’s Proof. This is the impression of
a print taken in the printmaking process to see the current printing state of a plate that is being worked on (or woodblock, lino, screen etc). In current practice it is usually used to describe an impression of the finished work that is identical to the numbered edition. Artist’s proofs are not included in the count of the limited edition. Sometimes an Artist’s Proof might have more value to a collector especially if the proof belongs or belonged to the artist or one of his/her friends.


A TP, or Trial Proof, is a proof pulled to determine the appearance of the image. Many trial proofs may be pulled before the BAT or PP which indicate the finished state of the work. The edition is then printed. They are sometimes called ‘States’.


BAT ( Bon à Tirer) is the final trial proof – approved by the artist – which tells the printer exactly how the edition should look. Each impression in the edition is matched to the BAT and the proof is used principally when someone other than the artist is printing the series. There is only one of these proofs for an edition.


Impressions annotated HC (short for Hors Commerce) are sales prints that can be handled many times. They may differ from the edition by being printed on a different kind of paper or with a variant inking; however, they may all be just the same.

Printer’s Proof

A printer’s proof is a complimentary proof given to the printer. There can be one or several of these proofs, depending upon the number of printers involved and the generosity of the publisher.

What is an original print?

An artist conceives and produces an original print through one or more printmaking techniques. The artist can use either classic printmaking techniques such as lithography, etching, relief and screenprinting or digital imaging to produce an original print.

When an artwork is conceived in another medium, copied (usually through a photographic process) and then printed using commercial processes such as giclee, it is a reproduction and not an original print.

Most original prints are made in limited editions of 10-50 to a maximum of 250, agreed and signed by the artist.

What is provenance?

A record authenticating a print will establish its value and will help when it comes to insurance. Provenance is the record of ownership, or a historic record of the various owners of a work of art. Many artists and publishers now offer certificates of authenticity with limited edition prints, and these can be requested by buyers in the second-hand markets as provenance. However you can also use invoices, receipts and any other proof of purchase as provenance.


Wood Engraving

A wood engraving print is produced from a block of endgrain wood using engraving tools. It is a much finer and more delicate process than woodcut, enabling a wide variety of marks and textures.



A woodcut is a print produced from a block of sidegrain wood or manufactured board. The natural pattern of the grain is integrated with the patterns and textures made by the cutting process. Cuts are made by using gouges and sharp knives.