Chihuly’s enjoyment in the spontaneous act of drawing has led to his continued pursuit of traditional printmaking; like his drawings, the prints offer collectors an intimate and alternative connection to his work in glass.
These original limited edition prints reveal his unique sensibility and highlight the artist’s unmistakable drawing style. All Chihuly Workshop original limited edition prints are signed by Chihuly and numbered.
About Our Prints
Prints with handwork are created by drawing with paint onto existing prints after they are pulled from the press.
A matrix for a serigraph print is created by Chihuly drawing on sheets of Mylar. One screen is needed for each color desired in the final composition. For example, a six-color serigraph requires six unique screens. After further preparation by the master printmaker, ink is applied by hand through each screen to archival paper.
A matrix for a lithograph print is created by Chihuly in different ways, including drawing with tusche (a grease-like ink) onto stone or metal plates or by painting on sheets of Mylar. One plate is needed for each color desired in the artwork. For example, a six-color lithograph requires six unique plates. After further preparation by the master printmaker, the plates are inked and hand-pulled through a press using archival paper, with one pass required for each plate.
A matrix for an intaglio print is also created in different ways, including Chihuly drawing with acid, (biting), cutting, or incising (carving) on or into a metal plate, using techniques such as aquatint, spit bite, white ground, and sugar lift. After further preparation by the master printmaker, each plate is inked by hand and then pulled through a press, transferring the drawing to archival paper. Often various platemaking methods are combined in one composition, creating prints that are both ambitious and complex.
Woodcut prints are created from a composition that Chihuly has drawn onto a key woodblock. The area of the woodblock not covered by the drawing is then cut away. The relief, or raised area of the woodblock, is inked with a brayer and transferred to archival paper by passing it through the press. Again, a five-color woodcut print is achieved by having a separate woodblock for each color applied. In addition to the artist’s marks, the grain of the wood is often picked up by the ink, creating an additional layer of texture.
Drypoint prints are created by scratching a Chihuly drawing directly into a metal plate with a sharp metal point. Scoring the plate creates a burr or ridge of metal that holds the ink. When the plate is inked and paper is pressed against the surface, the resulting artwork has a rich, velvety quality. As this process is repeated, the burr wears down and the lines become less defined. For this reason, drypoint prints are made in small editions.
Vitreograph prints are created when a Chihuly drawing is carved into the surface and throughout the depth of a glass plate using a subtractive process resembling sandblasting. Again, each separate color requires its own glass plate to complete the artwork as the drawing is transferred to archival paper. At times, and depending on the amount of pressure, it will create an impression similar to stippling in painting.