Bill Fick and Beth Grabowski’s ‘Printmaking: A Complete Guide to Materials and Processes‘ is a comprehensive 250 page handbook. Now available in an updated second edition, it covers digital, relief and intaglio printmaking, as well as lithography, monoprint, screenprint and collagraphy.
This book is absolutely bursting with information. The best chapters are the ones which deal with complicated or laborious printmaking techniques such as etching or lithography. These techniques entail a number of different skills and processes, from the preparation of the plate or stone, to the drawing and etching processes, to the inking and printing in a press. Bill Fick and Beth Grabowski split these complex processes up into manageable chunks, using diagrams and step-by-step photographs to illustrate each skill.
It is also very heavily illustrated: throughout, we are offered reproductions of fine art prints which show each technique being put to good use by contemporary artists. Each chapter also contains several two-page profiles which go into more detail about the careers of particular printmakers, printmaking collectives or ateliers.
The chapter on Intaglio printmaking is especially good, because Fick and Grabowski deal with ‘Intaglio printmaking’ as a whole, rather than treating drypoint, copper engraving, etching and mezzotint separately. By doing this, they avoid the erection of barriers between printmaking techniques which are often used in conjunction with one another (like etching and drypoint).
This second edition includes a new chapter, ‘Print & Make’, which explores the opportunities for creative expression within the many processes available to print makers. The other chapters have been updated and the illustrations expanded.
This book would be very suitable for art historians who wish to complement their knowledge of printmaking techniques, and for the novice who wants to try their hand at printmaking, but who doesn’t know where to start. It will also be an excellent reference work for printmaking studios. It contains a wealth of advice on studio safety, on materials, and on the use of presses, and since it has an ‘FAQ’ section, it will be a helpful means of resolving the problems which almost always arise during a day’s work.
Bill Fick and Beth Grabowski’s ‘Printmaking: A Complete Guide to Materials and Processes‘ is available at Jackson’s.