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Printmaking Media

Printmaking is the process of transferring an image from a plate or screen stencil to a series of papers or other materials. This process originated in the 14th century; however, the processes involved were used earlier: stencils were used as early as prehistoric cave paintings (artists blew pigment around their hands) and encised clay blocks were used in early Mesopotamia (before 3000 BC)to transfer images/symbols to wet clay. The earliest found example of woodblock printing was from before 220 AD, printed on silk in China (History of Printmaking).

There are multiple printmaking techniques commonly used including relief, intaglio, serigraphy (silkscreen), collagraphy, lithography and monoprints/types. Printmaking, in general, consists of creating a block, plate or screen then using it to print a series of imprints - called an edition - on paper, fabric or other support that are almost identical. The subtle differences between the prints allows each one to be considered an original.

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Yōshū Chikanobu; Filial Piety; woodblock print; 1890

James Abbott McNeill Whistler; Rotherhithe; etching on paper; 1860

The images above are in the public domain.

Some sites about printmaking, in general:
Gabriela Martinez: History of Printmaking
The Metropolitan Museum: Printmaking
Wikipedia: Printmaking
The Print Shed: Printing Methods
Georgetown: Prints
MOMA: What is a Print Interactive
Printmaking Artist

What is Printmaking? YouTube