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printwork - monotypes
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A monotype is defined as a unique image created by covering a metal plate entirely with etching ink, then removing the ink partially or wholly for the lighter and white areas of the picture being made. This process is carried out using brushes, toothpicks, cotton swabs, foam rubber, fingers, etc. One can also start with a clean plate and apply the ink in various ways, but as etching ink is a fairly unmanageable substance it is hard to achieve the intended effect. If the ink is too thickly applied it will spread from the pressure when printed, forming a blot. If too thin it won't show up at all. When the picture on the plate is finished, it is run through an etching press with dampened rag paper to form a unique one of a kind print. Almost all the ink transfers to the paper so it is not possible to make more than one print, hence the prefix mono.

Although images can be similar, creating editions are not possible. The appeal of the monotype lies in the unique translucency that creates a quality of light very different from a painting on paper or a print, and the beauty of this media is also in its spontaneity and its combination of printmaking, painting and drawing mediums.



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