In many houses, to this day, flat black pieces of wood with uncomplicated pictures cut into them have been preserved. The few owners of this Soviet consumer goods are still convinced that they possess pieces of art called prints. Not that they are completely wrong, although real art is out of the question here. Simply print is a much broader concept than it seems to many. We understand: print - what is it?
About the meaning of this word
The word "print" is a Russian version of the term brought to us from Europe, where it appeared back in the 14-15th centuries (estampe in French, Italian stampa), and was directly related to the development of printing. An engraving or some other print from a matrix (printed form) onto a paper sheet was called a print. At first, printmaking was not a self-sufficient form of art, but was only a technical way of reproducing images. Moreover, it is very laborious, requiring painstaking and highest skill from the performer. But since then, the print technique has constantly evolved and improved. It was overgrown with unexpected tricks, took on new shapes, and therefore it is no longer so easy to determine the meaning of the word. Prints in our time is a generalized name for many types of art.
About types of prints
Trying to understand what a print technique is, we turn first to the story. Before the image is printed on paper, it must be drawn or engraved on some basis: wood, metal, etc. Wood engravings began to appear first, later on copper. Over time, other varieties of similar techniques arose. Convex and in-depth engraving - their technologies differed only in what color of the impression the recesses on the matrix board would correspond to. Lithography - paint was applied to a flat surface, and the resulting print, as a rule, had no relief. Currently, prints, depending on the method of their production, can be attributed to several types: high and intaglio printing, flat, screen. Each of these species, in turn, is divided into groups. Let's talk about this a little more.
Graphics in Greek is a drawing. Subsequently transferred to another chart material - print. But it is not necessary to consider prints as some ancient, antediluvian craftsmanship: this type of creativity is still popular in many countries. For example, in Mexico, competitions and exhibitions are regularly organized to help those wishing to master this common occupation in the country. After viewing the works of local artists, the answer to the question: “Print - what is it?” - it will sound like this: “Print is a combined talent of an artist and a carver.” After all, the technology of work has long remained virtually unchanged. The desired pattern is applied with cutters on a solid wood board, then it is coated with printing ink using a roller. And then a sheet of paper is applied to the board and pressed by the press. A lot of prints can be made, and each will be considered an original.
And still to the question “Print, what is it?” Do not rush to answer: "Craft." Printmaking is an art that even the most eminent painters did not shy away from. One of the types of print - etching - became known, among other things, thanks to the works of such geniuses of its time as Rembrandt and Goya. The word "etching" (from the French words eau-forte, strong water, that is, nitric acid) means a type of engraving on metal, a method that allows you to get prints from printing forms that have been pretreated with acids. A drawing is made on a metal board with a needle, then the deepening of image elements is enhanced by etching the metal with acids. Later etched places are filled with paint and on special machines they print an impression on a moistened sheet of paper. Technology is not easy, but the result! The ingenious Albrecht Durer became famous for his etchings, but many others, well-known or already forgotten masters, worked in the same technique.
About silk screen printing
Correct to the question "Print, what is it?" there will be an answer: “Screen printing”. Silkscreen printing, or screen printing, is a method for reproducing texts or drawings using a printing form-screen, due to which ink gets onto the material prepared for this purpose. The method using emulsions is much like the process of printing photos. Currently, screen printing is especially popular, since it is the most technologically advanced. The scope of its use is almost limitless: from microcircuits to huge posters, from one copy to thousands of copies. The screen printing method is applicable for paper and textiles, for ceramics and synthetic materials. Screen printing is ideal for decorating products of various shapes and purposes: cans, bottles, latex balloons, etc.
But silk-screen printing is not only of great applied value. Silk screen printing is also a very interesting art form that has gained popularity in the last century. Even such famous personalities as Jackson Pollock and Fernand Leger, Andy Warhol and a number of other remarkable, dissimilar masters turned to him. They proved: printmaking - it can be great!