Definition of technical terms


Monoprint
A monoprint is made by placing paper directly on a painting made on a plate of metal, or other non-porous surface. The paper and plate are then run through an etching press which transfers the image from the plate to the paper. Technically it is a print pulled in an edition of one which is a unique work using a print medium.

Etching monoprint
As opposed to the usual practice of making an edition of several identical prints from the etched plate, an etching monoprint is a unique print from an etched plate made in an edition of one.

Etching
An intaglio fine art printmaking technique in which a metal plate is covered with an acid-resistant layer and then drawn on using various needle-like tools to reveal the metal. The metal plate is then immersed in an acid bath and the acid "eats" the marks which have revealed the metal. The plate is then removed from the acid and inked up. The ink remains in the bitten areas of the plate which are below the surface of the plate. A sheet of damp paper is placed on the inked-up plate and then run through an etching press which exerts great pressure and squeezes the paper into the inked-up areas of the metal plate thus transferring the image from the metal plate to the paper.

Intaglio
A print where areas of the image are those that are depressed below the surface - etching is an intaglio process. As opposed to a relief print.

Relief print
Prints which result from printing the raised surface of a plate. Linocut and woodcuts are relief prints. They are printed using a method that is the opposite of intaglio prints in that their surface is rolled with ink and the print is taken from their surface.

Aquatint
A process used in etching creating tonal and textural marks. The process involves dusting the etching plate with a fine rosin powder which is then heated up so that it adheres to the plate and is resistant to acid. This creates a microscopic mottled effect on the plate when bitten in acid which creates tone when the plate is inked up and printed.

Chine collé
A method of obtaining colour in the printmaking process by printing on thin coloured tissue or collaged paper.