Glossary of Terms
Acid-Free Foam Center Board - Inert white plastic center faced on both sides with acid-free paper.
Acid-Free Mounting Boards -These boards are double sided white acid-free mounting boards. The core as well as the surface papers are acid-free. They are available in several thicknesses. AFX is a single thick board while AF3X is double thick. 11W is a new needlework board that is white on both sides and has an acid-free core as well as face sheets it is extra thick- 3/16 inch.
Acid-Free Regular Mat Board - This is standard 14 ply mat board, that has been buffered. The center core and the backing paper have been treated with calcium carbonate to a neutral pH level. This board could be used where color and high permeance are important, but artwork is decorative.
Archival Photo Mount Board - This board is especially made for photographs and artwork requiring a non-alkaline environment. It is a 4-ply, 100% cotton rag with a solid color throughout.
Artist's Proof - Impressions set aside (usually for the artist's use) from the numbered edition. An artist's proof or épreuve d'artiste is designated by the initials AP or EP, but otherwise identical to those from the edition. See HC and Printers Proof.
Batik - A Japanese word that has been translated as "good points or dots." This refers to the tiny dots in Indonesian patterns that give them a lively quality and that show a mastery of technique. A standard definition of the medium of batik is that it is a way of coloring fabric with successive dyebaths, producing a design by using wax to resist dyes on cloth.
Corrugated Board - The most common, yet the worst board to be near artwork. It is made of kraft paper laimnated on each side of kraft fluted middle. It can be very strong and ridged, yet deadly to artwork because of its high acid content. It will damage work that is near it and leave brown lines that are not removable.
Corrugated Acid-Free - Is constructed the same as kraft paper, except the materials used in the manufacture have been treated to render them acid-free. It makes an excellent filler board for conservation.
Cancellation Proof - Final print made once an edition series has been finished to show that the plate has been marred/mutilated by the artist, and will never be used again to make additional prints of the edition. Canvas Transfer - Art reproduction on canvas which is created by a process such as serigraphy, photomechanical or giclée printing. Some processes will even recreate the texture, brush strokes and aged appearance of the original work.
Certificate Of Authenticity - See also Authenticity Guarantee – this is the Seller’s document which details the information which they are providing their guarantee, and usually accompanies the artwork. This document may be provided by the Seller, publisher or artist. Certificate Of Authenticity See also Authenticity Guarantee – this is the Seller’s document which details the information which they are providing their guarantee, and usually accompanies the artwork. This document may be provided by the Seller, publisher or artist.
Cibachrome - A process where a photographic print is made directly from a color transparency
Collotype - A reproduction made by a photomechanical printing process, but is not broken up by half-tone screens so the resultant image is continuous tone. Color separation negatives are made from the original work of art, then are retouched to build up the desired density and graduation of tones. The negatives are then exposed onto a light sensitive aluminum plate, and the plate is then run on a press. A separate negative and plate are made for each color (not be be confused with collograph).
Craquelure - Hairline surface cracking of paintings into characteristic patterns determined by climatic conditions, age, and the different materials used in the work.
Diptych - A work of art composed of two separate pieces, usually displayed together side by side, producing one continuous image. Pronounced "dip-tic".
Edition (or Edition Size) The total predetermined number of impressions made of a single print or image. Within the limits of information reasonably available to Sellers, the item description may contain relevant information as to the limits or extent of the edition, editions or states of a given print. If a specific print is an artist's proof or Hors de Commerce, the item description may also note the size of the regular edition. For limited edition prints, the size of the edition and the number of the example offered would generally be described as "27/100," which means the print offered is numbered 27 out of a total edition of 100.
Embossing - A method of raising a design in relief on metal or paper through the use of mechanical dies or punches or plates.
Encaustic - This ancient art uses colored wax for painting. This technique involves painting images onto walls with pigments that are blended with wax. When used with heat, such as an iron, the permanent color is burned into the wall, forever.
Epreuve d'Artiste - French term meaning "approved by the artist. " Abbreviated as "E.A.", it means the same as artist's proof.
Etching - Printing technique in which a metal plate is first covered with an acid-resistant material, then worked with an etching needle to create an intaglio image. The exposed metal is decomposed in an acid bath, creating depressed lines that are later inked for printing.
Fine Art - An art form created mainly as an aesthetic expression to be enjoyed for its own sake. The viewer must be prepared to search for the intent of the artist as the all-important first step toward communication and active participation.
Foam Center Board -Inert white plastic center faced on both sides with white sheeting. Although generally safe to use near artwork, if exposed to a great deal of light it will discolor. It is available in 1/8", 3/16", and 1/2" thick and is sizes up to 4'X8'. Avoid the type made from thousands of tiny beads sandwiched between two layers of paper it is not solid and will crumble when cut. It also softens in the dry mount press and will leave bumps and dents.
Foxing - Discoloration of paper due to mildew of micro-organisms, because of dampness or bad preservation.
Fresco Pigment is applied directly to damp plaster making this wall painting, one of the most permanent forms of wall decoration
Gold Leaf is used for gilding, gold or silver (for silver leafing) is beaten to extremely thin, fine sheets.
Gouache (Tempera) Opaque watercolors and the technique of painting with such colors using white to make tints.
Giclee - The term "giclee print" desribes an elevation in printmaking technology. Images are generated from high resolution digital scans and printed with archival quality inks onto various substrates including canvas, fine art, and photo-base paper. The giclee printing process provides better color accuracy than other means of reproduction.
HMP - Abbreviation for "hand made paper".
Hand-signed - This term indicates that, in the Seller’s opinion, the signature on a particular work of art was manually signed by the signatory. See also: Signed and Plate Signed.
HC - The abbreviation for the French term 'hors commerce' or 'hors de commerce', literally meaning "not for sale." Impressions designated "HC" were not originally intended for commercial distribution and were therefore not included in the numbering of the edition. Apart from the absence of a number they do not differ from impressions in the edition. See also Artist Proof and Printers Proof.
Heliogravure - A 19th-century term for photogravure, which uses a light-sensitive acid resistant ground to create an etched plate. Heliogravures can be very difficult to distinguish from etchings and engravings. However, under magnification they show a grainy structure different from an etching's or engraving's strong, continuous line. See additional information in the
Impressionism - The term impressionism came from a painting by Claude Monet. His painting was titled titled Impression Sunrise. Impressionism is about capturing fast fleeting moments with color, light, and surface.
Intaglio - The process of incising a design under the surface of a metal or stone. Plates are inked only in the etched depressions on the plates and then the plate surface is wiped clean. The ink is then transferred onto the paper through an etching press. The reverse of this process is known as relief printing.
Iris or Giclée - A computerized copying technique in which the image and topography are generated from a digital file and printed by a special ink jet printer, using ink, acrylic or oil paints. Giclée printing offers one of the highest degree of accuracy and richness of color available in any reproduction techniques.
Limited Edition See Edition - This term generally refers to any work of art, sculpture or collectible which has been created and executed in a predetermined limited quantity.
Linocut - The full term is linoleum cut. A surface printing process similar to woodcutting. The image is dug into the linoleum (linoleum is a hard, smooth washable floor covering made of a mixture of ground cork, wood, and linseed oil, first manufactured around 1860) with the printed areas not being cut away. The block is then inked and paper is pressed down on the linoleum. Colors can be added by using different blocks, or altering the one block and re-inking.
Lithograph - The process of printing from a little stone or metal plate on which the image to be printed is ink-receptive and the blank area is ink repellent. The artist, or other print maker under the artist's supervision, then covers the plate with a sheet of paper and runs both through a press under light pressure. The resultant "original print" is of considerably greater intrinsic worth than the commercially reproduced poster which is mechanically printed on an offset press.
Monoprint - A print that has the same underlying common image, but different design, color or texture.
Monotype - A one of a kind print made by painting on smooth metal, creating a texture that is not possible to paint directly on paper.
Museum Mount, or Museum Framing - The safest method of hinging, matting and framing artwork that utilizes only acid-free materials.
Newsboard/ Chipboard - Chipboard is brownish in color while newsboard is grayish brown. Each is composed of recycled materials. This solid-core board is very dense and ridged but highly acidic. It can ve used as a filler or support board but should not be in direct contact with the art. Because it contains uncontrolled recycled materials it is a risky board to use for any adhesive mounting. Some areas may resist or repel the adhesive. This board holds staples and tacks very well. Upson board is a trade name for this type of thick board.
Offset Lithography - A special photo-mechanical technique in which the image to be printed is moved to the negative plates and printed onto paper. Offset lithography is very well adapted to color printing.
Op Art - Short for Optical Art, a style popular in the 1960s that was based on optical principles and optical illusion. Op Art deals in complex color interactions, to the point where colors and lines seem to vibrate right before the eyes
Pastel Colors go from soft to brilliant in a stick form. When the paper is covered completely, it is a pastel painting. When the paper is exposed through the pastel, it is a pastel sketch
Plate Signed (Signed In The Plate) - A print described as signed in the plate, plate signed or stone signed means that the artwork contains a signature or other marking of the artist inscribed on the plate or stone that they worked on, with the resulting "signature" appearing on every impression made from the plate or stone. This signature is typically referred to as "signed in the plate/stone" or "plate/stone signed." See also: Hand-signed and Signed.
Pointillism - A branch of French Impressionism in which the principle of optical mixture or broken color was carried to the extreme of applying color in tiny dots or small, isolated strokes. Forms are visible in a pointillist painting only from a distance, when the viewer's eye blends the colors to create visual masses and outlines. The inventor and chief exponent of pointillism was George Seurat (1859-1891); the other leading figure was Paul Signac (1863-1935).
Pop Art - A style of art which seeks its inspiration from commercial art and items of mass culture (such as comic strips, popular foods and brand name packaging). Pop art first developed in New York City in the 1950's and soon became the dominant avant-garde art form in the United States.
Poster Board - There are several types of poster board. They are not used for matting purposes. The better quality has a news middle with a non- bleeding, non-fading laminated coated surface paper designed to accept mediums of sign painters and screen painters. There is a craft poster board that has a very sensitive coating. It will smear, watermark and fade.
Printer's Proof (Publishers Proof) - An impression typically set aside from the numbered edition for the use of the printer, but otherwise identical to those from the numbered works of art in a limited edition. Generally designated by the initials PP. See also: Artist's Proof and Printer's Proof.
Publisher - The person or entity that subsidizes and often initiates the making of a limited edition or portfolio and who also disseminates the prints. The publisher usually provides the Certificate of Authenticity with each work of art in the edition.
Rag Board Matboard - Made form 100% cotton, 100% acid-free, used in museum mounting and framing. (At one time, rag board was made from cotton rags).
Rag Mat - This "top of the line" board is made of 100% cotton fibers and is a pure natural fiber. It should have been a neutral pH. It has short and long fibers. Short fibers cut easier and the long fibers require less processing, cooking, bleaching, beating, and washing so they remain longer and stronger and by nature are more durable. It is also newtral sized (buffered) for added longevity. If surface paper colors are added to the face of the board they would be acid-free also. Solid colors are available but in very limited selection because of the requirements of the coloring agents to be acid-free. Rag mat can be used on any item you frame or mount with complete confidence of its museum quality.
Raku - This method of firing pottery results in irregular surfaces and colors. The pottery is removed when it is red hot. It is then placed in a bed of combustible materials and covered.
Regular Mounting Boards - Regular mounting boards are not acid- free but they may be useful in certain situations. 12c is an extremely thick, 3/16 inch, newsboard. It is very stong and dense. It will accept staples and pins. X is single thick while 3x is double thick. They both have a smooth finish with white acid-neutral surface paper on both sides. Remarque – Additional enhancements by the artist on some or all of the final prints within an edition.
Restrike - Additional prints made from a master plate, block, lithograph stone, etc. after the original edition has been exhausted.
Serigraph - A print made using a stencil process in which an image or design is superimposed on a very fine mesh screen and printing ink is squeegeed onto the printing surface through the area of the screen that is not covered by the stencil
Signed - A print described as "signed" means that the artwork contains a handwritten signature or other marking of the artist. Artists often inscribed their name on the plate or stone that they worked on, with the resulting "signature" appearing on every impression made from the plate or stone. This signature is typically referred to as "signed in the plate/stone" or "plate/stone signed." See also: Hand-signed and Plate Signed.
Soft-ground etching - An etching process which produces a print with a quality of line and tone resembling a pencil or chalk drawing. A soft, acid-resisting ground is laid on the metal plate. The design is then drawn with a sharp pencil upon thin paper stretched over the ground plate. This causes the ground to stick to the paper where it has been pressed down with the pencil. Thus, when the paper is removed, the metal is left exposed in somewhat irregular or ragged lines. The plate is then immersed in acid, the drawing is bitten into the plate, and then prints are pulled in the standard procedure.
Standard Mat Board - The quality of the mat board is judged by the center core, what it's made of and how it is processed. Standard mat board has an unbuffered groundwork pulp center. Untreated groundwood is highly acidic and will discolor and deteriorate over a period of time. The same will happen to the artwork it houses.
Sulfite Board - Chemical wood pulp center which has been treated to purify it. The purest form of Sulfite, "Alpha Pulp" comes closest to matching the natual purity of cotton cellulose. It is acid-free with buffered cover papers.
Suite - When two or more images are released together, the grouping is termed as a suite, as in "this is a suite of four pieces."
Tempera - Tempera is a word used to describe any type of binder such as oil, water or egg that makes a pigment workable as a paint form.
Triage - French term meaning "output." To have the tirage of a limited edition work is to have complete information concerning the total number of prints in an edition, the date and workshop where completed as well as how the total edition is broken down. As an example, the tirage of a print could be: 1-300 + I-CL + 1-30 A.P. + 1-20 H.C.; printed in 1988 at Chromacomp in New York
Trial Proof (TP) - Pre-cursor to a limited edition series, these initial prints are pulled so that the artist may examine, refine and perfect the prints to the desired final state. Trial proofs are usually not signed.
Trompe-L’oeil - A French term meaning "deception of the eye." A painting or other work of two-dimensional art rendered in such a photographically realistic manner as to ‘trick’ the viewer into beleiving it is three-dimensional.
Watermark - Translucent name or design molded into the paper during the manufacturing process, usually in the border area; more clearly visible when held up to a light.
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