Limited Edition Prints

Limited Edition Prints

At Harbour Lights Gallery

We sell a large selection of Limited Edition prints in the Gallery ranging from reproductions of Gallery artists work to Highly collectable Lithographs ad screen prints by the likes of Graham Sutherland and John Piper. Below is a little information about each type of print sold at Harbour Lights Gallery and the process behind it.

Giclee Limited Edition Prints – Most of the Limited Edition prints at the Gallery at Giclee prints. The word Giclée (“g-clay”), is derived from the French verb gicler meaning “to squirt or spray”, Giclée, is used to describe a fine art digital printing process combining pigment based inks with high quality archival quality paper to achieve an inkjet print of superior archival quality, light fastness and stability.  These prints are reproductions of an Original painting with the Artist and printer aiming to create a colour quality image, sometimes scaled down slightly in size. All Giclee prints at Harbour Lights Gallery are from a Limited Edition, for example an edition of /195. This means that once they have sold that number there will be no more prints done of that image aside from a few printers proofs and artists proofs that exist to ensure each print created stands up to the standards set by the artist and printer. These prints are signed and numbered and sometimes titled by the Artist. In the event that the artist dies while there are still prints available,( as with the work of John Knapp Fisher) prints come with a signature printed onto the print, and a certificate of authenticity from the printer.

Linocuts – The Linocuts sold here at the Gallery were produced by Bernard Green and his wife Margaret Green. They lived in Pembrokeshire for many years and both worked with this unique technique. We are lucky enough to hold a collection of their work that we sell on behalf of the Family. Here are some details about this very artist involved printing technique.

-Linocut is a printmaking technique, a variant of woodcut in which a sheet of linoleum (sometimes mounted on a wooden block) is used for a relief surface. A design is cut into the linoleum surface with a sharp knife, V-shaped chisel or gouge, with the raised (uncarved) areas representing a reversal (mirror image) of the parts to show printed. The linoleum sheet is inked with a roller (called a brayer), and then impressed onto paper or fabric. The actual printing can be done by hand or with a printing press, such as an Albion or a Columbian press.  Colour linocuts can be made by using a different block for each colour as in a woodcut, but, as Pablo Picasso demonstrated, such prints can also be achieved using a single piece of linoleum in what is called the ‘reductive’ print method. Essentially, after each successive colour is imprinted onto the paper, the artist then cleans the lino plate and cuts away what will not be imprinted for the subsequently applied colour. Linocuts are a very artist involved form of printing with the intended purpose to be a print rather than a reproduction. They are almost always a Limited Edition and especially in the case of Bernard and Margaret who used the reductive technique. once all the colours are printed there is little left of the original lino that created the print. There is also sometimes a variation in tone and colour through the edition due to the process which makes them all unique although from the same plate.

Bernard and Margaret used the ‘Reductive’ method themselves for their Colour Linocuts, with a large Columbian Press. Bernard in particular was a master at the technique and was even commissioned by Her Majesty the Queen to create a linocut of Caernarfon Castle. This exclusive work has been reproduced by British Telecom on the Royal Tele message for Wales. See some of Bernard and Margaret’s work here..

Lithographs/Lithography –

Lithography is a printing process that uses a flat stone or metal plate on which the image areas are worked using a greasy substance so that the ink will adhere to them, while the non-image areas are made ink-repellent. A printing process based on the fact that grease and water don’t mix. The image is applied to a grained surface (traditionally stone but now usually aluminium) using a greasy medium: such as a special greasy ink – called tusche, crayon, pencils, lacquer, or synthetic materials. Photochemical or transfer processes can also be used. A solution of gum arabic and nitric acid is then applied over the surface, producing water-receptive non-printing areas and grease-receptive image areas. The printing surface is kept wet, so that a roller charged with oil-based ink can be rolled over the surface, and ink will only stick to the grease-receptive image area. Paper is then placed against the surface and the plate is run through a press.

Lithography was invented in the late eighteenth century, initially using Bavarian limestone as the printing surface. Its invention made it possible to print a much wider range of marks and areas of tone than possible with earlier printmaking relief or intaglio methods. It also made colour printing easier: areas of different colours can be applied to separate stones and overprinted onto the same sheet.

Offset lithography involves printing the image onto an intermediate surface before the final sheet. The process is ‘offset’ because the plate does not come in direct contact with the paper, which preserves the quality of the plate. With offset lithography, the image is reversed twice, and appears on the final sheet the same way round as on the stone or plate.

As with Linocuts, Lithography is also a very artist involved process and images can be created on the plate rather than being taken from an original painting. Many works we have in the Gallery by Graham Sutherland are lithographs. See his work here…

Screen Prints –

Screen printing is a printing technique whereby a mesh is used to transfer ink onto a substrate, except in areas made impermeable to the ink by a blocking stencil. A blade or squeegee is moved across the screen to fill the open mesh apertures with ink, and a reverse stroke then causes the screen to touch the substrate momentarily along a line of contact. This causes the ink to wet the substrate and be pulled out of the mesh apertures as the screen springs back after the blade has passed. One color is printed at a time, so several screens can be used to produce a multi-coloured image or design.

There are various terms used for what is essentially the same technique. Traditionally the process was called screen printing or silkscreen printing because silk was used in the process. It is also known as serigraphy, and serigraph printing. Currently, synthetic threads are commonly used in the screen printing process. The most popular mesh in general use is made of polyester. There are special-use mesh materials of nylon and stainless steel available to the screen printer. There are also different types of mesh size which will determine the outcome and look of the finished design on the material.

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