These rough working definitions of a few terms central to European and American printmaking are intended to help explain references to print media and techniques in captions for images on the DAC website. To explain these terms in full would require much longer descriptions, but the short explanations given here should provide a general idea of what these words mean.
Print: A replica of an image made from an inked surface. Broadly considered, the two stages of making a print are the creation of a matrix, and the pulling of an impression by inking the matrix and pressing a piece of paper against it.
Matrix: The surface (usually wood, metal, or stone) on which the image is actually made, and which is then inked in preparation for the making of each print.
Support: The material (usually paper) to which the image is transferred from the inked matrix, and which provides the image's physical support and much of its tone.
Some Printmaking Techniques Grouped by Category:
"State" is a key term related to all of these processes. Two prints are of different states if they were made from a matrix which was altered (for example, by etching more lines into it) after the making of the earlier impression and before the making of the later one.
Useful resources at other museums' sites: