Silkscreen in terms from the artzine on artrepublic.com

Screen printing or serigraph. Many of our limited edition silkscreen prints have been hand made and hand printed by the artists themselves. Silkscreen prints are usually printed on heavy papers around 300gsm, like hand printed on 100% rag papers. These papers are selected for their colour, grain and suitability to take ink quantities that give high density colour.

The process of making a print

A gauzy fabric (traditionally silk) is stretched taut onto a frame to form the screen. Then either a stencil is cut or prepared digitally. The screen is treated with a light reactive substance and exposed to create a positive stencil. Paper is placed on the press then the screen on top and ink is then forced across the screen, it will pass though any of the open (unexposed) areas of the screen onto the paper. An individual screen has to be prepared for each colour in the final print. So the more colours in a silkscreen the more work has gone into creating the final print.

History

Silkscreen printing is an ancient art with origins in Japanese fabric dying dating back thousands of years. In the 1960s Andy Warhol began using it to produce iconic images such as his Campbell Soup Tins and his portraits of Elvis and Marilyn Monroe and in doing so brought the practice to the attention of the art world. It was not immediately accepted by the art critics and museum curators of the day, but quickly gained popularity among the pop art fraternity. Over the years it has developed into a popular medium for producing high quality art prints, as the artist is able to retain control of the end result throughout the print making process.

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