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Sunday, March 4, 2012

What is a Print exchange?

The Green Door Print Exchange
If you are not a Printmaker, yes, capital P, then you probably don't know or understand what and why is a Print Exchange? A friend of mine asked the other day, and it was interesting to explain:

A Print exchange is a bunch of printmakers who get together, usually called upon by an industrious
printmaking studio, to send in from 10 - 15 prints, the print is usually small, and the edition is closed,
that is, you don't print this for anything else, as in other print exchanges etc. When I say 10 - 15 prints, then yes, they are identical.
You send your prints in, and pay your fee, which usually barely covers the postage for the prints you will be sent, an exchange is rarely other than a labour of love, for the studio organising it and for the artists participating.
Where was I;;;;; oh yes,  you send your print in, and after the deadline is met, you receive in the mail, a little parcel with  up to 15 prints in return, these prints are all by other participants, and you receive only 1 print of each, sometimes you are lucky and get wonderful stuff, sometimes less lucky, even at times, you wonder why the artist bothered...hmmmmm, gonna get flak for that ;o) but most of the time, it is a mix of all sorts, and that makes it great fun, I have almost a whole wall covered now in little print exchange prints, and love it! It is also a great way, for beginners, and weekend printmakers, if you have access to an etching press, to take your printmaking a bit further and have a reason for doing a little print, because you get a whole bunch in return, ahhhhh, it is such fun opening that package, I tell you!
So find your nearest printmaking workshop, get going and find some print exchanges, and that is easy, put in print exchange printmaking in your google and up they come, loads of them! A SUPER site is this: they have loads of info on print exchanges, and very soon, Cascada Studios will appear there, at least I hope so, have not even asked them yet :o))) but such is the printmaker world, that we are all very nice to each other!


  1. "All very nice to each other!" - yes, I have found that, with bookbinders, papercrafters and bloggers too. The creative folks seem to be generally "nice" people - I've rarely met a blogger I didn't like!

    Your comment about why the artist even bothered... ok, I won't give you grief about it - I can see your point, but I can see the "people have to start somewhere" argument too (though one should always do the best one can, for something like an exchange - perhaps that's what you were getting at?).

    Anyway... I wonder if my own work would be "good enough" - especially as I don't have regular access to a Press just now, so would be improvising in one of various ways (as on my recent blog post).

    Mariann, just what standard should I reach, before my work would be "acceptable" to Real Printmakers (as opposed to Beginner/Novice printmakers, like me)?

    I have seen a number of Exchanges in links on Printmaker friends' blogs, but never thought I could produce anything "good enough". Do you think an edition produced by either of my two current options - "spoon" burnishing, or my tiny "press"/die-cutting machine, would be acceptable, if the cutting was of a decent standard and I took care over the whole process?

    I very much want to improve and build up my experience, knowledge and ability - so I can one day say I am A Printmaker - but it's going to take a long time, especially as I'm limited in terms of time, space and resources just now. I love my bookbinding, but Printmaking has always fascinated me - and I have only recently been able to take up any opportunities to try it.

    Perhaps I need to get more experience and practice, before launching an edition of prints into the world.

    I'll keep an eye out for anything you post about your own entries though!

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