Art Information

Hand-Pulled Lithographic Prints

How is a lithograph made?

The surface of a thick piece of Bavarian limestone is ground and polished in preparation for the Artist’s drawing. The artist applies the image to the limestone surface using wax-based crayons which contain natural greases. Wherever the crayons mark the stone, it becomes grease-loving. The rest of the stone is treated so that it is water-loving. When the stone is sponged with a thin film of water and rolled with a greasy ink, the ink sticks only to the Artist’s drawing. Each print must be inked in this manner, and pulled through the press to transfer the ink to the paper.

How does the artist get different colors?

The artist must draw a separate image for each color. If there are three colors, then there must be three separate drawings. Each drawing is printed in sequence, with different colored inks. The piece of paper must be run through the press once for each color or drawing.

What makes it an original?

One of the most important aspects of art is the mark of the artist. That touch of individuality is what makes the work unique. Without that mark, it is merely a commercial reproduction of a work. In hand lithography, the artist draws directly on the printing surface. When printed, the paper comes in direct contact with the Artist’s marks, recording all of their subtle nuances. Because of this intimate contact, and because the work does not exist in any other form, such as watercolor or painting, the hand lithographs, although multiple in number, are not referred to as copies, but as originals. They are each assigned a number in a limited edition, and are signed by the artist.

from: Craig Cornwall, Trilobite Studio