Seaside Art Gallery: What is a Serigraph?

Most of us have used stencils in school for lettering and it is a popular method on home decorating shows in order to add a pattern or design to your walls.

Stencil prints were created from this concept and appeared on the art scene in the early part of the 20th Century. Silkscreen or serigraph is the most familiar form.  The process is simple. A fine mesh fabric is stretched over a boxlike frame and is used as a stencil by either masking out with wax or some other impermeable substance all parts of the image which are not to print. A sheet of paper is placed under the prepared screen box & with a squeegee-like tool, ink is forced through the screen. It will not go through where the screen is masked. In order to have more than one color, it is necessary to make a separate screen and print them in order on the same sheet of paper. This type of printing can be done quickly and in very large editions.

Silk screen is the term used when this method of printing is used for signs and other commercial endeavors and serigraph is the term used when it is used for art.  I have noticed recently that the large auction houses are using the term "screen print".

The ink lies on the paper like a very thin blanket. Techniques have changed so that under examination if there is an absence of this effect it does not necessarily mean that it is not a serigraph. The colors have a flat appearance or are evenly graded.

Melanie Smith

Melanie is the co-owner of Seaside Art Gallery, Nags Head, NC which specializes in original fine art. The gallery was founded in 1961 by her parents and she has grown up in the world of art. She has organized numerous art shows, acted as an art judge and is an accredited fine art and animation art appraiser with the International Society of Appraisers.

Seaside Art Gallery on Ruby Lane:

Seaside Art Gallery
PO Box 1
2716 So Virginia Dare Trail
Nags Head, NC 27959

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