Glossary

Digital
Any image generated on a computer printer may be called digital. See also: giclée.
Check out: Lynda Devenney, Dermot Finn, Emma Finucane Andrew Folan, Paula Henihan.

 

Drypoint
Any pointed tool is used to scratch into a metal plate, for example a nail. This creates a groove in the metal, as well as a raised 'burr' to one side of the groove which will hold extra ink. Marks made in this way print up as blurry edged lines. The simplicity of the technique, as well as the force required to scratch the metal mean that it lends itself well to lively, expressionistic, angular drawing.
Check out: German Expressionist portraits, e.g. Ludvig Kirchner and Max Beckmann, who is considered the Master of drypoint. For contrast take a look at Lars Nyberg, who achieves incredible delicacy and detail in this medium.
Also: Mary Fitzgerald, David Lilburn.

 

Edition
There are physical limits to how many prints can be taken from one plate. However, it is more in the interest of preserving a 'rarity value' that artists limit and number their prints. The edition information is conventionally noted in pencil at the bottom left-hand corner of the image. The notation 1/25, for example, tells us that this is the first print in an edition of twenty-five.

 

Electro-etch
A form of intaglio whereby instead of using acid, the metal plate is etched by placing it in a bath of electrolytic solution along with another piece of metal. The plate is attached to a positive electric charge (thus becoming an anode) whilst the otherpiece of metal is attached to a negative electric charge (thus becoming a cathode).When an electric current is passed through, ions migrate from the anode through the solution to the cathode. The same technology is used for gold-plating. It was invented in 1832 by the self-educated Cockney and first Fullerian Professor of Chemistry, Michael Faraday. It was not utilised in printmaking, however, until many years later.
Check out: Fiona McDonald.

 

Emboss
When damp paper is laid on a plate and rolled through the great pressure of the press, the outline and texture of the plate is imprinted on the paper. This is an emboss. A print made in this way, without ink, is called a 'blind emboss' and often has sculptural/architectural qualities.
Check out: Eduardo Chillida, Marie Louise Martin, Lina
Nordenström, Maria Simmonds-Gooding.