All of the lino prints in my shop and gallery are “Limited Edition” prints. But what does this mean for the person who buys my artworks?

Creating a Limited Edition Print

I first make a printing block to print from (This is a carved lino block). Then I ink up the block carefully with water based or oil based relief printing inks. Next I position the block so it won’t move. Paper is then placed on top secured with Terns Burton registration pins to prevent the paper from moving. Using a glass baren or similar I use pressure to (handprint) transfer the ink onto good quality paper. The block can then be re-inked and pressed multiple times onto more sheets of paper.

At the end of the printing process I have 30 – 40 copies of the same image. From these I will select the best and most consistent prints to use as an edition. These then become a limited edition of 25 prints. The printing block is defaced and discarded so no more art works can be printed. These 25 prints would be labelled: 1/25, 2/25, 3/25…. 25/25 in pencil and signed with my signature.

What are Artist’s Proofs?

It is common practice, when making a limited edition print, for artists to make a small number of artist’s proofs for themselves. These are identified by “AP”. Many artists limit their artist’s proofs to 10% or 15% of an edition. I personally make small editions. The most Artist Proofs I have ever made have been 1-3 per edition of 25. There are prints I become very fond of and want to keep for myself, a family member or friend.

What happens to rejected prints?

Rejected prints are usually re cycled, I use the backs to test proof new work. I will keep one sample to notate on if I have been trying out new ideas or techniques. These prints are never available for purchase or display as they are not of acceptable quality.

Why do you print small editions?

For me the most exciting part of the printmaking process is the ‘reveal’. This is the part when you lift a piece of paper from the inked block for the first time. There is such anticipation to see whether the printed artwork has worked out well as planned. This is the final task of a number of stages that start with initial sketches. It is the moment of truth. It’s quite an emotional moment.

Once a number of prints have been successfully pulled the excitement abates. The next idea starts to grow. The prints are carefully left to dry and the clearing up has to be done. Prints are then signed, numbered and carefully stored.