Today's postings

  1. [Baren 32654] Numbering The modern way ("Harry French")
  2. [Baren 32655] RE: Numbering The modern way ("Maria Arango")
  3. [Baren 32656] Re: Numbering The modern way (Shireen Holman)
  4. [Baren 32657] Re: Baren Digest (old) V38 #3768 ("Dick and Marilynn Smith")
  5. [Baren 32658] Re: Numbering The modern way (Charles Morgan)
  6. [Baren 32659] Re: New Baren Digest (Text) V38 #3764 (Jan 15 (Sharri LaPierre)
  7. [Baren 32660] Website (Sharri LaPierre)
  8. [Baren 32661] Baren Member blogs: Update Notification (Blog Manager)
  9. [Baren 32662] Numbering prints.. why & how (ArtSpotiB #
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Message 1
From: "Harry French"
Date: Thu, 18 Jan 2007 15:36:33 -0000
Subject: [Baren 32654] Numbering The modern way
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Greetings Bareners .
Lucky you that have enough prints to number!
This week's output was the worst for years. It started badly by not reversing the design even though I have a computer scanner to do the job for me. I also decided on the madness of a reduction colour edition and ended with no regular prints for numbering. I cut the best bits out of the prints and rearranged them to see what they may have looked like if things had gone well. Then lo and behold, Maria quotes : "The modern way:-do whatever you want and make up an elaborate explanation for what you're doing."
Ok, uploaded is my is my latest 'print' and tomorrow is another day.
All the best,
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Message 2
From: "Maria Arango"
Date: Thu, 18 Jan 2007 08:27:07 -0800
Subject: [Baren 32655] RE: Numbering The modern way
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Well, Harry, I love your "one-of-a-kind uniquely crafted

Perhaps you have just invented a new medium...would go over very well in art
festivals I think. Most of the veteran art festival sales pros have
developed elaborate selling pitches such as a "two-stage patented
purification and plastification process" or a "unique powder-pigment
sublimation transfer procedure" or "multi-step multi-team individually
patterned-hand-crafted" (huh?, with a twist, I presume). Some of the
explanations are so elaborate that I usually interrupt, smile and tell them
I am a fellow artist, which cuts them off rather quickly. I love my fellow
artists, really.

When folk ask me about my process I usually say: "I just whittle and stamp",
and let the prints do the talking. Humor gets you sales too, ya know.

Happy printing!

Maria Arango
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Message 3
From: Shireen Holman
Date: Thu, 18 Jan 2007 11:57:28 -0500
Subject: [Baren 32656] Re: Numbering The modern way
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Harry, your print looks great! Good new method.
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Message 4
From: "Dick and Marilynn Smith"
Date: Thu, 18 Jan 2007 10:02:50 -0800
Subject: [Baren 32657] Re: Baren Digest (old) V38 #3768
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Dale, I have understood that there are 2 schools of thought on the numbering
of prints. One is to number them as they are pulled, the other is to number
them according to which one the artist feels is the best print. I say take
your pick, just be consistent. My printmaking professor said to number
according to which print we flest was the best. Not sure about any leagal
or moral issues here???
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Message 5
From: Charles Morgan
Date: Thu, 18 Jan 2007 09:28:31 -0800
Subject: [Baren 32658] Re: Numbering The modern way
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Hey ... WAY TO GO, HARRY !!!!

It looks great. You are a very brave soul to do a reduction print. I
admire your skills at draftsmanship and carving. And now I can admire
your perseverance and ingenuity as well.

I keep hearing ... never throw anything away ... put your rejects in
a drawer and look at them 6 months down the road ... you will always
find a use for them. You have just reinforced that sage advice.

Cheers .... Charles
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Message 6
From: Sharri LaPierre
Date: Thu, 18 Jan 2007 09:45:25 -0800
Subject: [Baren 32659] Re: New Baren Digest (Text) V38 #3764 (Jan 15
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Thanks for sending the link to Rahman's exhibition. I had misplaced it
and would have missed all those wonderful prints if you hadn't sent it
What a treat and a wonderful job of curation, too. If anyone else
missed it the first two times around, here it is again:

Cheers ~
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Message 7
From: Sharri LaPierre
Date: Thu, 18 Jan 2007 14:33:08 -0800
Subject: [Baren 32660] Website
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For all of our newbies, oldies, lurkers etc.
Being rather new to this Japanese printing stuff myself a resource that
I find invaluable, in addition to David's one step lessons at, is The thing
that I like best about these two sites is that they are visual. You
can actually see the steps being done as opposed to just reading it in
a book. Not that I'm anti-book they are great, too, but it is nice
to be able to augment with these two additional resources.

Happy printing,
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Message 8
From: Blog Manager
Date: 19 Jan 2007 04:55:14 -0000
Subject: [Baren 32661] Baren Member blogs: Update Notification
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This is an automatic update message being sent to [Baren] by the forum blog software.

The following new entries were found on the listed printmaker's websites during the past 24 hours. (26 sites checked, five minutes before midnight Eastern time)


Site Name: Woodblock Dreams

Author: Annie B
Item: Getting Started


Site Name: Mokuhankan Conversations

Author: Dave Bull
Item: Hokkei Dragon (6) - Proofing ... last chance for pre-release discount!


Site Name: Belinda Del Pesco Fine Art Blog

Author: bdelpesco
Item: Monotype & Watercolor: Arizona & Angel Face Roses


Site Name: VIZArt

Author: Viza Arlington
Item: Year of the Boar trail proof

Author: Viza Arlington
Item: Lantern


Site Name: Amy Stoner's Fine Art Blog

Author: Amy Stoner
Item: some journal pages

Author: Amy Stoner
Item: good thoughts


[Baren] members: if you have a printmaking blog (or a website with a published ATOM feed), and wish it to be included in this daily checklist, please write to the Baren Blog Manager at:

For reference, sites/blogs currently being checked are:
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Message 9
From: ArtSpotiB #
Date: Fri, 19 Jan 2007 00:52:53 EST
Subject: [Baren 32662] Numbering prints.. why & how
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Hello Friends.

As I understand it, some early printing blocks/plates were made of materials
that degraded fairly quickly. For example, plates made of copper tend to lose
the integrity of line/gouge while going thru the press. This is because the
burr or channel that holds the ink is deformed making the lines' quality
degrade. Therefor, an earlier print would be of higher quality and keeping with the
artist's intention. That number is the first one, directly in front of the
slash. The fifth print of an edition of 100 would be 5/100.

The second number is the total of the prints pulled or to put it more
properly, how many in the "run". This number tells a viewer an important fact. It
lets the viewer/prospective purchaser know just where in the line of things your
print's quality stands. Say you have a Rembrandt print #4 of a run of 120.
That would be noted 4/120. That's a really nice number!

A run of over 400 (and that is a very generous number for a run) is really
not a "limited edition print". Thomas Kincaid does runs of thousands. Those
works would not be considered "a limited edition" by those knowledgeable within
the field. Some editions are only 5! And I've seen some as 1/1. Recently I
watched a juror eliminate a woodblock print from a show because the artist did not
label the print as from an edition limited to one. The juror was not sure that
the artist would print only one print in a block as multiples are more
standard as it was not labeled as "1/1".

An artist can also decide to never say that the print is from a limited
edition. In that case, you'd share that information with your customers and
admirers by making the notation as an open edition by writing "OE" on the print. No
numbers are needed.

Another important term indicates that there are variations within the
edition. Say some of the prints you did in black while others in a deep bronze ink.
However, you want to have a total of only 25 copies. You could make the
notation as "edition variee" (I'm not sure of the spelling, sorry.) or "EV". The
notation would be 5/10 EV.

OK, now say that you decide that an image that you have already done a "full
edition" is 100/100. Unlike Rembrandt, you have not slashed a deep grove
across the copper plate/woodblock to make sure that nobody will eventually get your
plate and do more prints without your knowing. You decide that you want to do
another run of the same image. That would be "second edition". So the
notation would be 3/153 II ed. (Roman numerals are often used.)

In earlier times and now, many fine artists would have a specialist pull
their prints. Some would have a trial print to give to the publisher of their
prints as guide. It might have some notations on it to be sure that the print
looks just exactly how the artist wants it. This copy is a "bon a tirer" or BAT.
It's a sample/demo print. When my early blocks were being printed by someone
with a large press, I'd give a "BAT" to the publisher with notes on what areas
were not to be inked because I was handpressing and made errors that the press
would not have printed.

There are several more interesting notations. For example, an artist might
want to give a publisher a courtesy copy of the print in thanks. This is called
a "printer's proof" or "PP". An "artists proof" or "AP" also can exist. At
times there will be more than one printer's proof or artist's proof. That is
because when a print is commissioned, the artist might get 5+ copies that are not
within the edition's number that the artist can keep or sell privately.
Neither of these types are considered part of the edition. An edition of 100 may
have an additional 15 artist's proof, meaning that there are actually 115 prints
in existence 15 is a considered a large number and a high percentage, by the
way. If there are more than one artist's proof, the notation is AP #3 or
whatever. The edition total is not notated in many instances.

Lastly, I'd like to say that although all this information may seem tiresome
and of little value, there's a real benefit to numbering your works. It's the
documentation of how many YOU decided to have exist. With the addition of
digital printing, there's no difference in quality for the most part unless the
inks fade over time or your digital storage becomes damaged, of course. Still,
wouldn't you like to know just how many other people have a chance to own the
same print that attracted you? It's kind of like enjoying knowing that you are
special in your tastes.

It's also a way to keep the value up, since large numbers of prints are
considered less valuable (for whatever you think of that!). You know, the "rarity"
aspect. It's also a way to make sure that nobody claims your work for theirs.
Consider poor Dali, whose later in life caretakers tied him to a chair and had
him sign blank sheets of paper for later printing at so many per day. His
prints are of lesser value because of the sheer number of them, the fact that
many are forgeries yet with his signature and because he was unable to control
his production to be "limited".

Now if you want to do an open edition or not number them in order because it
really doesn't matter to you, that's an artist's privilege but at least make
your choice consciously. You are the one responsible for the life of your art.

And, please pardon me for "going on about it". I remain your happy Baren
Listserve member. I learn so much from watching what others say... Thanks,

ArtSpot Out
Benny Alba at OMebase

History teaches that grave threats to liberty often come in times of
urgency, when constitutional rights seem too extravagant to endure.
-Thurgood Marshall, US Supreme Court Justice (1908-1993)