Rant #1 – Giclée


I promised myself I wouldn’t let my vitriol spill over onto this site, but it’s late, I cant sleep again, and I’m in quite a bit of pain, so here we are.

As you’ll undoubtably know if you’re reading this, I’ve recently opened shops on both Etsy and Folksy and this has exposed me to something I’m really hate, which I can no longer avoid: the idea that Giclee prints are in some way “printmaking”

What are Giclee prints?

They are prints made on inkjet printers, that’s it!

Giving it a french name wont make it any more legitimate, clicking OK/PRINT is not printmaking, true  printmaking is reliant on human participation, this is what makes it wonderful; every printer’s (the human kind) work  is unique. Unless you are moving the cartridge on your epson back and forth across the page with you bare hands,  it doesnt count, it’s not printmaking.

Dont get me wrong, I embrace and enjoy technology, and I’m not about to claim that I print everything I’ve written in Microsoft word on my Adana 8×5, but Giclee is no more “printmaking” than printing out a spreadsheet of office finances.

Moreover, I’m not  against Giclee printing, traditional printmaking is often expensive, and time-consuming, and  I’m glad that people who would otherwise have no way of distributing their work can do so though digital reproduction,(the fact that Giclee is cheap and in no way time-consuming will always result in things that should have never been printed finding their way into the world, but this is a side note).

Giclee is digital reproduction, and so for me has more in common with uploading a photo to your ipod that it does with etching, letterpress or screenprinting

I love printmaking; this is why Gliclee makes me angry.

my next post will just be about why I love printmaking.



2 Responses to “Rant #1 – Giclée”

  1. Thomas Stone Says:

    I couldn’t agree more.

  2. Totally agree! I don’t think people appreciate the printmaking process itself and the skill that goes into each print( whatever the technique).

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