Serena Smith



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stone lithography
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About Stone Lithography

Lithography makes use of the antipathy of grease and water, and the hydrophilic properties of a finely grained absorbent surface – in particular limestone, zinc or aluminium plate. To make a lithograph the artist draws onto the prepared stone or plate using a variety of materials that all contain grease; transfer systems allow photographic and collaged images to be used. Subsequent chemical processing of the drawn work enables the stone or plate to retain within its surface, a greasy deposit that accurately records the marks made by the artist.

During printing the stone or plate surface is kept damp whilst being rolled with greasy ink; the ink adheres only to the greasy drawn marks and is repelled by the damp undrawn areas. A lithography press is used to take an imprint from the inked stone or plate onto a sheet of paper.

Serena works with stone lithography. The shapes of the image areas on the paper are often the shapes of the individual lithography stones from which the work is printed. Each final printed impression is the result of a complex and lengthy process of drawing, processing, printing and hand colouring.