to print and protect art on paper
We realize the human
desire and ability to draw what the eyes saw or what is in mind, since the cave
man peoples found figures scratching on bone, ivory or stone, then on the
artificial wall of the temple or church.
With the renaissance
a new desire start to spring up wishing not only to create a work of art but to
multiply it, there came into existence the block-books engraved on wood and
multiplied by successive impressions as well on stone and metal.
They discovered that
they could fill with ink the channels cut by their gravers then press the papers
against them in order to get copies, also found out that their etched lines
could be used the same way. Techniques of engraving and etching were discovered
together and with the relief wood-blocks remains for three centuries as the only
reproductive arts always with some deformation and travesty. All the methods of
printing known might be divided into two branches: one by elevated forms the
other by engraving form which are purely mechanical.
the end of the 18th century was discovered a new method of printing with gay
colours called Polyautography known as Chemical Printing, then called
Lithography, process of chemical printing on stone, it is not the stone that
mattered but the chemical process, nothing mechanical but purely chemical.
last invention was the Giclée fine art print witch become possible in the 1990's,
much better than etching or engraving, have a higher resolution than lithograph
and greater color than serigraph, the Giclees printing process does not need stone or
plates, is a transparency taken from original artwork, virtually captures every
nuance of an original painting, is a high resolution digital spray printing, a
sophisticated printer controls and spurt tiny drops of highly saturated,
non-toxic water based, long lasting ink.
multiply the original artwork, the Giclée fine art print called color
lithograph giclee achieve a level of accuracy and richness previously
unavailable, many artists and publishers consider it the top of graphic art.
engravings of Durer, the etchings of Rembrandt, the wood- engraving, the stone
lithographs never reached the same heights of the Giclees.
is a print ?
a painting, prints are created through an indirect transfer process. Images are
not drawn directly onto paper, but on a surface such as a stone or a metal
plate, from which the image can then be printed a number of times.
The transfer occurs when a sheet of paper, placed in contact with this surface,
is run through a printing press.
Original prints are referred to by the technique that was used to produce them,
such as etching, engraving, lithograph, linocut, monotype, monoprint, woodblock
and so on.
Tips for the beginning collector of prints
starting any collection it is important to find a focus for your collection.
You may want to collect only bird prints, landscapes, Japanese prints, or
perhaps just prints by one artist or prints of one class, such as black and
white lithographs, monoprints, or miniature etchings.
This way, your collection will become more important and therefore more
valuable, because it makes a statement. Focusing on one area and learning
all about that particular subject will also make you more knowledgeable in
that area; once you are familiar with your field seek it out. If you are on
vacation visit local galleries and dealers. Different areas have different
fancies. You may find that the works you desire may not be as popular in a
given area and therefore their prices may be lower. It is almost always true
that art objects are cheaper at their point of origin (especially folk art).
If you are travelling in an area which produced a specific type of art you
may find some worthwhile purchases. When learning about your art field you
will often learn of other collectors who share your passion. These people
may be potential buyers or sellers that you may contact.
for a rare find or a good bargain is part of the fun of collecting prints.
But first your eye must be trained to recognize value. The best way to begin
is by visiting museums and galleries. Ask questions and read reference books
about the areas or artists you like best.
start your collection it is a good idea to buy a couple of inexpensive
prints first. That way you can start examining prints carefully and learn
more about the different printing techniques. Keep an eye
as you can sometimes find really good bargains. People don't always know
what they are selling and sometimes very proficiend dealers are just selling
old unwanted prints which may be a good way to start a collection.
Studying reference books and viewing exhibits is invaluable, but hands-on
experience is a must as well.
- If you
buy from a dealer, ask for a written guarantee. Buying directly from the
artist is much better, not only because it will be cheaper, but because
establishing direct contact and learning more about the artist will make you
appreciate the print more. Always ask for a certificate of authenticity even
if you are buying from the artist. This will be useful when re-selling the
print as a proof or guarantee.
Always ask to see if there is a buy-back policy, or if you can trade a
previous purchase toward a more valuable or more satisfying piece.
lots of questions. A dealer or artist will be happy to talk to interested
clients. Artist love to let others know more about their creations and will
be happy to answer all your questions.
purchasing prints, consider their value according to rarity and condition.
The more people collecting in one area, the more the demand will raise
prices in that area.
- Be Patient!
Don't rush into buying or selling anything. Patience and select buying will
help you get the best value for your money.
Caring for your collection
Gravure prints made with etching ink on acid-free etching paper or Japanese
washi are among the most permanent works of art available. The pigment in black
etching ink is finely ground carbon particles: it never fades. Etching paper is
made from cotton fiber, washi from kozo or mulberry fiber, neither of which
contain the lingin from wood pulp that causes deterioration of ordinary paper.
Nevertheless, as you develop your collection, make sure you learn to care for it
properly, providing a good environment, and safe handling and storage
conditions, critical to preserving paper collections.
handle the print itself any more than necessary.
excessive humidity, light, or temperature.
your print using good acid-free mats and good framing.
- Do not
cut or trim a print or puncture it with thumb tacks. Simply try to maintain
it in its original condition.
- If your
print is damaged due to spotting, foxing, acid burns, or stains, take it to
a professional restorer. If a print is valuable enough to save, it deserves
proper restoration, and a good professional is worth the cost.
When handling prints, always use two hands to lift the paper so that the edges
do not get crimped.
Hands should be clean and dry before handling paper items, as the natural body
oils from fingers can cause staining on the paper. Better to handle prints using
Avoid having food or drinks in the area of your collection.
Never hang or store prints over or next to a radiator or any kind of heat
source. Don't hang prints over a fireplace as the combination of heat, soot and
smoke can do extensive damage in a very short period of time.
High humidity can lead to the development of foxing (small brown disfiguring
spots in paper) or mold growth, which grows in excess of 70% relative to
humidity. According to museum curators, 50% humidity is ideally suited for
keeping fine works of art on paper.
Most paper items are susceptible to damage from ultraviolet (UV) and visible
light. UV radiation, which is emitted by the sun and fluorescent bulbs, is
particularly damaging to prints. as it fades inks and colors. Fading cannot be
stopped by keeping your art in subdued light; oxidation will occur naturally
even in the best condition. It is advisable not to hang your prints opposite a
window nor expose it to direct sunlight as this will soon fade colors and paper
will burn. Also avoid reflecting light as it has ultra-violet rays that can be
very harmful to inks and paper.
Taking print out of direct light and putting it in a closet will not restore the
Never frame directly on glass. Before being framed your prints have to be matted
using good quality acid free mattes. To block harmful light on framed pieces
UF-3 plexiglass can be used. If your prints aren't matted, condensation will
form, the print will be damaged and ultimately destroyed.
Mats should be changed every few years, especially in humid environments. Good
conservation practice protects both the print and its investment value as well.
Many framing shops use acid-emitting adhesives and backing papers to seal the
backs of frames. They also often use hard-to-remove glazier's points to squeeze
the print tightly into the frame, leaving marks around the edge of the mat
window on the print. A much better print conservation practice is not to seal
prints in frames permanently, so that the mats can easily be changed every few
years. Avoid glue, tape or other adhesives like the plague! Use only wheat paste
and rice paper to attach a print to a matte.
Always ensure that there is air circulation behind your print.
Make sure you check for dampness on any outer wall where you are hanging your
prints. If there is a lot of water, moisture will seep through and into your
Basements are not the ideal place to hang or store prints.
It is best to store paper items flat, rather than folding and unfolding, which
can lead to creases and tears but never store or leave prints flat on the floor;
get them elevated so that air can circulate underneath and around them.
Never store unmatted prints directly on top of the other, unless an acid free
tissue has separated them. Ideally, your prints should be kept in their
individual folios with an acid-free tissue on either side of the print, or mat
your prints and use and acid-free tissue on top.
If you can have an option of wooden or metal shelving, it is better to opt for
the wooden shelves, as metal tends to cause condensation of water over a period
of time. Metal is also a greater conductor of heat in case of fire.
Clean and air (remove backing) framed prints every once in a while as dust
contains air borne mold spores that can cause deterioration of the prints.
Pollution, Dust and Pests
Pollutants, such as ozone and fumes from photocopy machines, car exhausts, and
heating systems can cause damage to prints which should be protected from dust
and dirt. Monitor for evidence of rodents and insects, such as silverfish, book
lice and book worms, which can eat, soil and damage paper; good housekeeping and
environmental conditions will help reduce the threat of these pests.