What is printmaking exactly?

According to Google, “printmaking originated in China after paper was invented around AD 105. Relief printing appeared in Europe in the 15th Century, when the process of papermaking was imported from the East.”

Desktop printers and what folks refer to as “art prints” have helped dilute the term printmaking, so it can be confusing. Printmaking refers to woodcuts, etchings, lithographs, screen prints, linocuts (remember these from middle school?), plus a slew of other types and variations. Printmakers consider these works to be original prints, as opposed to digital reproductions. Though printmaking is usually about making multiples—to confuse things there is a printmaking technique that only makes one print—the artist’s hand is involved in every one. 

Printmaking is a technical art form that’s harder to understand than painting, but since it’s so cool, it deserves its own festival. PrintAustin Collective is a non-profit organization that aims to educate folks on printmaking while helping to promote artists and galleries with the same goal. We hold our annual festival–(we named it after ourselves!) PrintAustin–from January 15 through February 15, where participating galleries showcase prints, as well as hold workshops, artist talks, and art happenings that our organization helps to promote. PrintAustin Collective organizes our own events, including The Contemporary Print, PrintEXPO, the PrintAustin Invitational, and other open calls.