Terms, Glazes, Finishes and Media Explained.

Collograph is a relief-printing process, generally involving attaching shapes, fibers, texture mediums, etc., to a piece of wood or cardboard.

Cyanotype - Cyanotype is a negative printing process where a light sensitive solution is applied to paper and an image, or print is laid on top. The entire thing is then exposed to ultraviolet light - areas where light does not hit the sensitized material will remain white, the exposed areas will turn blue. Developed in the 1840's, it is one of the oldest photographic techniques; cyanotype print production hasn't really changed since.

Drypoint - a printmaking technique of the intaglio family, in which an image is incised into a bare copper plate with a hard-pointed "needle" of sharp metal or diamond point. In principle, the method is practically identical to engraving. It is different from etching in that no acid is used.

Encaustic - also known as hot wax painting, involves using heated beeswax to which coloured pigments are added. The liquid or paste is then applied to a surface—usually prepared wood, though canvas and other materials are often used. Because wax is used as the pigment binder, encaustics can be sculpted as well as painted. Other materials can be encased or collaged into the surface, or layered, using the encaustic medium to stick them to the surface.

Engobe - French for slip, engobe is a clay slip which is coloured with metal oxides or stains, has added silica and is used for coating the surface of a form either before or after bisque firing.

Gampi tissue - Japanese tissue is a thin, strong paper made from vegetable fibres, in this case, from the gampi tree.

Indigo Dye - Indigo is the legendary source of colourfast blues and its ability to produce a wide range of shades has made it the most successful dye plant ever known. Indigo grows all over the world but flourishes best in hot, sunny, humid areas. Indigo can give clear blues that range from the tint of a pale sky to a deep navy that is almost black. It is among the oldest dyes to be used for textile dyeing and printing. 

Intaglio -  the 'family' of printing and printmaking techniques in which the image is incised into a surface and the incised line or sunken area holds the ink. It is the direct opposite of a relief print. Intaglio processes would include etching, drypoint, and engraving.

Lithography - a printing process that uses a flat stone or metal plate on which the image areas are 'drawn' using a greasy substance. Ink will adhere to the greasy areas, while the non-image areas are made ink-repellent. From this, a print is made.

Milk paintMilk paint is a historic type of paint that combines casein, lime and oxides and has 0% VOCs. 

Nerikomi - Nerikomi, ("kneading") is a technique for creating Japanese pottery agateware. The name derives from the traditional technique of creating patterns with colouredclay.You may also hear it referred to as neriage.Nerikomi involves slabs of different clays or clays colored with stains or oxides, which are stacked, folded, pressed into logs, sliced, and arranged to form a vessel. In this way, the numerous stacked coloured layers appear as fine patterns and lines embedded in a surrounding color in the finished vessel.

Pate de Verre - Literally meaning 'glass paste,' Pate de Verre is produced by grinding glass into a fine powder, adding a binder to create a paste, and adding a fluxing medium to facilitate melting. The paste is brushed or tamped into a mold, dried, and fused by kiln-firing. After annealing, the object is removed from the mold and finished.

Photogravure - Photogravure is an intaglio printmaking or photo-mechanical process where a copper plate is grained (adding a pattern to the plate) and then coated with a light-sensitive gelatin tissue which had been exposed to a film positive.  It's then etched, resulting in a high quality intaglio plate that can reproduce detailed continuous tones of a photograph. Photogravure is one of the oldest photographic reproduction techniques providing a rich, deep tonality. Very few people in Canada are still practicing it.

Raku - Raku generally involves removing pottery from the kiln while at bright red heat and placing it into containers with combustible materials. Once the materials ignite, the containers are closed. This produces an intense reduction atmosphere which affects the colours and glazes and clay bodies. The drastic thermal shock also produces cracking (known as crackling since it is deliberate). The original Japanese style of raku is an outgrowth from Buddhist influences in life and especially in the tea ceremony. 

Shibori dyeing - Shibori is a Japanese manual resist dyeing technique, which produces patterns on fabric. Similar to tie-dying, shibori has been used since the 8thcentury. There are an unlimited number of ways one can bind, stitch, fold, twist, or compress cloth for shibori, and each way results in very different patterns. Each method is used to achieve a certain result, but each method is also used to work in harmony with the type of cloth used. Therefore, the technique used in shibori depends not only on the desired pattern, but the characteristics of the cloth being dyed. Also, different techniques can be used in conjunction with one another to achieve even more elaborate results.

Terra Sigilata – Terra sigilata translates quite literally as sealed earth.'Terra sigillata' can be made from most clay, mixed as a very thin liquid slip and then settled to separate out only the finest particles, which is used as terra sigillata. It is applied to unfired clay surfaces. "Terra sig" can be polished with a soft cloth or brush to achieve a shine ranging from a smooth silky lustre to a high gloss. This process has been around since around the 1st century and is a very distinct type of pottery made by the Romans.

Van Dyke Printa derivative of iron-silver print processes dates back to 1842, and takes its name from the colour cast of final print, a deep brown similar to popular paint pigment, Vandyke brown. Like many of photography’s earlier processes, a Van Dyke print is a contact-printing process where a piece of paper is coated in a chemical emulsion, then exposed to ultraviolet(UV) light. The emulsions then rinsed off, leaving an exposure on the paper, which can then be printed.

Washi Paper - Washi is traditional Japanese paper. The word "washi" comes from wa meaning 'Japanese' and shi meaning 'paper'. The term describes paper that uses local fiber, is processed by hand and made in the traditional manner. Washi is often made using fibers from the inner bark of the Gampi tree, the mitsumata shrub, or the paper mulberry (kōzo) bush.  Washi paper is typically stronger than paper made from wood pulp. As a Japanese craft, it is registered as a UNESCO intangible cultural heritage.