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Serigraphy

Serigraphy, also known silk-screening, is a printing process which dates back over 2000 years. The term serigraph was coined by Anthony Velonis in 1940 to differentiate between fine art and commercial art. "Serigraphy" derives from the Latin "seri" (silk) and the Greek "graphein" (to write or draw). The silk-screen process, simply described, involves forcing ink through a stencil that is embedded in a "screen" mesh (originally made out of silk and today, more commonly, polyester). The screen is held in a wooden or metal frame over which the screen is stretched drum-tight. The stencils or patterns are imbedded in the fabric and the ink is pressed through the screen with a squeegee onto the paper.

Many people are familiar with serigraphy or the screen-printing process through tee-shirt production, as most t-shirt designs are screen-printed. Original art prints can involve up to 100 separate screens, one screen per color, to produce the final image. These original art prints are usually produced and hand-printed by the artists themselves onto 100% rag, neutral pH paper. Serigraphs are normally produced in editions, limited in number as indicated, in pencil, below the image. The notation 1/50 would mean that this particular print is one of 50 in the edition. By signing and numbering it, the artist is guaranteeing that there are only 50 original serigraph prints of this design, although there may be some small number of Artist's Proofs. The use of the term "state" after an edition number signifies that there are prints using the same design but printed with a different color scheme.

For a more visual demonstration, please see "What is a Print", an informative description from the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.