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Stamp prints on paper using wood or metal carvings.

What does a Printmaker do?

A Printmaker creates art by using tools to impress ink, textures, and paint onto paper. This form of art embraces the deep cultural traditions from which it arose, and there are several different techniques that have come to define the craft. These techniques—perhaps you have heard of the terms etchings, woodcutting, or relief printing—are different categories for how Printmakers put texture and color onto an object to create a tool.

The creation of this tool is the core of your artistic process. In woodcut, for example, Printmaker’s carve and paint a piece of wood. In etching on the other hand, you burn lines into a piece of metal with acid. After it is carved and colored, you impress the tool onto a piece of paper. This creates a print, which is your final artistic product. It’s like a stamp that you press on an ink pad and then on a piece of paper, and you are making that stamp.

One of the characteristics of printmaking is that you can reuse your tool to make many additional prints. And multiple prints from the same tool are not considered replicas—each print is an individual work of art, and they are considered different editions (or “impressions”) of a single series.

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