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Fine Arts - Printmaking

Printmaking was developed as a medium to document images and communicate these images to regions beyond its origin. By incising a picture into a matrix metal plate, a print is developed as it runs through and press on a piece of paper. The image's origin can also be from a block of wood or stone. Before copy machines were invented, the process of printmaking meant repeating multiple impressions of the same image. That is why there was a time when printing of an artwork, document or idea was thought of as a miracle. Reproduction of prints used to be an artform in itself as thinkers and artists utilize it for their work. The respect for printmaking was how it wasn't as instantaneous as it is today considering the amount of time needed for reproduction and distribution.

Printmaking offers artists a world of possibilities as a single image made permanent on a matrix can be modified for its color and plate of choice. It can also be layered with other images or cropped into a new picture. Through the years, various styles of printmaking emerged, like using paper colors, which has allowed artists to experiment to the point of fabricating unrecognizable images from its original state.

As printmaking developed into a technique for art, contemporary artists who use printmaking have yielded new methods like Intaglio. This method produces prints from rubbing ink into a metal plate and then wiping the ink away from the surface. Slight variations of this technique create different types of intaglio including etching and engraving. Etching is drawing images onto a metal plate that is already covered in wax. The plate is then put into an acid to keep the exposed area away. This creates a groove into where the ink is rubbed. Engraving, on the other hand, creates trenches made by cutting using tools. One of the most famous engravings is the “Manner of Flying” by Francisco de Goya.