All About PRINTS

All About PRINTS

It’s all about the fine ART print!

Here at The Poi Room, we support a wide range of talented Printmakers & Artists - they fill our gallery walls with so much inspiration & creativity.

There are SO many wonderful ways to produce a printed artwork, in fact there are so many ways, that it can become a bit overwhelming trying to know what type of print you’re purchasing! We are here to help - we will try to keep the "artist jargon" to a minimum but simultaneously inform you of the various Printing Methods & Artists we represent here at The Poi Room.

Also known as 'Serigraphy' or 'Silk Screen Printing'.
This style of printing is an ancient art form, an early version of this technique was first pioneered in China around AD950. This process of printing is popular & widely used in a range of different industries. Screen Printing produces vivid & bold colours & therefore makes for striking artworks!

Tools of The Trade:
Mesh or Silk Screen | Ink | Squeegee | Paper

The Process:
The basic method involves creating a stencil on a mesh/silkscreen & using the squeegee to push the ink through to create an imprint - this, therefore, transferring the stenciled design onto the paper. Because the stencil can be used multiple times, it allows that Artist to replicate their design over & over again! Each colour way within a print design has an individual silkscreen, therefore, each colourway is separately printed & built up to create the final artwork. For example, if you read that an artwork is a "12 Coloured Screenprint" - that means that there were 12 different screens & inks used to create the artwork!

The Poi Room’s Screen Print Artists:
Alexis Neal | Penny Stotter | Simon Lewiswards | Tony Ogle | Paora Tiatoa | Michele Bryant


Also known as 'Pigment Prints' | Pronounced: "Gee’clay"
Giclee prints are prints run on inkjet-based printers. This style of printing is commonly used amongst Painters, here’s why … when a painter sells an Original Painting, that’s it, the original artwork is gone & only one buyer gets to appreciate the artwork. By creating Giclée Prints of an Original Painting, not only does that artist see more reward from the piece they put some much time & effort into, but they’re also able to reach more art buyers, who may have loved the original artwork but couldn’t necessarily afford it.

Tools of The Trade:
Camera or Scanner | Inkjet Printer | Paper

The Process:
The word ‘Giclée’ is a French term that means “to spray” - referring to how an inkjet printer works to produce a Giclée Print. Once the original artwork will be photographed or scanned, the Inkjet Printer will reproduce the artwork onto the selected paper. These large format inkjet printers use small spraying devices that can both colour match & apply ink precisely, giving a high-quality print of the original artwork.

The Poi Room’s Giclée Print Artists:
Amber Smith | Kirsty Nixon | Laura Shallcrass | Liam Barr | Michelle McIver | Ra Gossage | Sue Syme | Susan Haywood-Smith


Also known as 'Block Printing'.
Woodblocks are amongst the oldest printing techniques! The process of Woodblock Printing is a technique for printing text, images, or patterns. Originating from China, this process has been widely accepted by East Asia & beyond. It employs simple tools, but the work to create a Woodblock Print is time-consuming! Every contour & shape has to be hand-carved, if patient, this printing process creates some of the most striking pieces of print art.

Tools of The Trade:
Wood Block | Carving Knives | Inks | Paper

The Process:
A woodblock is a form of relief printing, based upon the principle that the parts that are not to be printed are carefully carved out with a knife, chisel, or sandpaper leaving the desired image to be raised at the original surface level. The block is cut along the grain of the wood. Once fully carved, the ink is applied to the woodblock & brought into firm contact with the paper/cloth. For coloured woodblock prints, multiple blocks are used for each colour.

The Poi Room’s Woodblock Print Artist:
Nic Tucker | Vanessa Wairata Edwards



Photographic Printing is the process of producing a final image captured by a camera & applying it onto paper for viewing. 

The Process:
The photographic art begins behind the camera & is focused on the selected subject matter! Once the image has been captured the artist goes through an editing process on their digital device to adapt & alter the works to their desired vision for the artwork. Once edited, the print will go through a printing process. There are multiple ways to produce a photographic print:

  1. The paper is exposed to a photographic negative, positive transparency. 
  2. Negative or transparency may be placed atop the paper & directly exposed - this creating a 'Contact Print'.
  3. Digital photographs are printed upon archival-paper by high-quality Colour Printers.

The Poi Room’s Photographic Artists:
Peter Latham | Adam Popovic | Anna Church


Digital printing is a method of printing from a digital-based image directly to a variety of media. Digital printing has a higher cost per page than more traditional offset printing methods, however, this price is usually offset by avoiding the cost of all technical steps required to make printing plates. This Digital Printing process has some real perks, firstly, it allows for on-demand printing which is great for a quick turnaround & secondly, it allows the freedom to modify the image used for each impression.

Tools of The Trade:
Computer, Laptop or Drawing Tablet | Inkjet Printer | Paper

The Process:
Fine Art Digital Printing is when a computer image file is sent directly to an Inkjet Printer to produce the final print output. The Artist will create & design the artwork on their digital device & then send the final file to the Inkjet Printer. Similar to the Giclée Prints, the Inkjet Printers use small spraying devices that can both colour match & apply ink precisely, giving a high-quality print of the original artwork.

The Poi Room’s Digital Print Artists:
Aaron Scythe | Lester Hall | Tess Costil | Tristan Marler | Paora Tiatoa



Lithography derives from the Ancient Greek.
Lithos - “Stone" & Graphein - "to write”. 

Lithography is a printing process that uses a flat stone or metal plate on which the image areas are worked using a greasy substance so that the ink will adhere to them by, while the non-image areas are made ink-repellent.

Tools of The Trade:
Lithographic Stone | Ink | Paper | Water | Greasy Crayons | Carborundum Grit

The Process:
The artist makes the lithograph by drawing an image directly onto the printing element using materials like litho crayons or specialized greasy pencils.

When the artist is satisfied with the drawing on the stone, the surface is then treated with a chemical etch. The treatment bonds the greasy drawing materials to the surface. With this process, the blank areas will attract moisture to the plate and repel the lithographic ink, while the areas that are drawn on will hold the ink. Water is then wiped onto the unpainted areas to help prevent the ink from smearing.


Once the image is inked, the paper is laid over the stone and it is covered with a tympan, a layer of packing that is typically placed between the plate and paper to help equalize the pressure. Next, these materials pass through the scraper bar of the litho press. When creating a lithograph, the stone that is used must be thick enough, as this machine provides enormous pressure. 


After the stone passes through the machine, the tympan is removed and the paper is pulled off to reveal a mirror-image of the drawing on the stone. The paper will retain whatever was drawn by the crayon, creating a perfect replica that can be repeated as often as needed.

The Poi Room Artists:
Alexis Neal