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Frequently Asked Questions
What is a serigraph?
A serigraph, more commonly known as a silk-screen print, is an original print created by the artist or under his or her supervision.
Silk-screening is a centuries old method of recreating an image many times over, first developed in China, using a fine mesh silk stretched over a wood frame. An image was created on the screen by blocking out everything that wasn't in the design to be printed, with a resistant film of some type. The screen was placed on paper or cloth, ink spread onto the surface of the screen and pulled across the surface with a blade or squeegee. The ink was then printed onto the object only in those areas that were not treated with the resistance and were allowed to remain as open screen. After removing the screen, the object then had the design perfectly transferred to its surface.
The process remains basically the same, using modern nylon meshes instead of silk, better design transfer methods onto the screen, and better inks. A serigraph is created slowly, using a number of drawings which are then transferred onto the screen surface and printed any number of times creating nearly identical images. Each drawing represents one color, and a print may take as few as one color or as many as several dozen.
When making an edition of prints, up to several dozens of pieces of paper or cloth are printed with each color - so if you consider that if a print has 20 colors for instance, then 20 drawings were made, 20 screens were made, and 20 printings of several dozens of prints each time were done, resulting in a very labor intensive and time consuming process. The print grows with every printing, becoming richer and more complete, until the artist is satisfied.
The drawings are destroyed, as are the screens, and the serigraph can never again be recreated exactly the same. The edition is created from the resulting images, and signed and numbered by the artist, with any extra images being destroyed.
To further complicate matters, there are now new reproduction technologies using serigraphic techniques, so be cautious when purchasing serigraphs - be certain that you are aware if the print is an original or a reproduction.
WHAT IS AN EDITION?
An edition is a set of images taken from one screen or set of screens, one for each color. The artist determines the number to be made. Each print is consecutively numbered along with the total number of that edition: therefore, 3/50 indicates that this is the third print made from a Standard Numbered Edition limited to 50 total prints. After the edition is finished, the artist destroys the screens. This insures the purchaser that no more prints will be produced of that image. All hand pulled prints are created in an edition and it is one way of differentiating between original artistic prints versus mechanical ones.
What is an Artist's Proof (AP)?
When a limited edition is created there will generally be approximately 10% additional run off as Artist's Proofs. These are sometimes numbered and sometimes they are not. They are exactly the same in quality and marked "AP". These prints are set aside for the artist and publisher.
What is Hors de Commerce (HC)?
Hors de Commerce - These prints are outside the edition but are the same as the edition and are used as gifts or payments to those involved in the production of the edition. They are marked "HC" and are usually numbered but not always.
What is Remarque (RE)?
Remarque - These prints are a special portion of the edition that have been specifically set aside to be hand embellished by the artist. Each piece is a unique piece that has hand painted areas on top of the Original Serigraphy. They are marked "RE" and are usually numbered but not always.
What is Arches Paper?
Mouldmade by Arjomari Papers, France. Arches paper is currently one of the most popular Archival papers in the world. Arches is the product of five centuries of papermaking experience. It is gelatin sized, air dried and hand inspected as part of the mill's stringent quality control. Arches has the warmest white color of any paper on this list. It's "cold press" surface is also has the roughest texture of any paper on this list -- which helps to hide and smooth dot dithering patterns at any resolution, while still retaining good sharpness and detail. We also carry a hot-press finish that gives an extremely smooth surface for excellent photographic detail. Archival rating by Henry Wilhelm with the Lysonic ink set is still in preparation, however the rating with Lyson Fine Arts ink set is 32 to 36 years. Preliminary tests seem to indicate that the longevity of this paper is the best.
What is Soho Paper?
Soho paper is an acid free, Archival paper that is machine made. It is an extremely high quality, long lasting, non-yellowing paper used for fine quality art prints.
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