Intaglio is an overall term for a fine art medium in which the image
is created on a printing plate that is then used to transfer the image
to another surface (usually paper). The surface of a metal plate is bitten
by an acid or by sharp tools. Etching ink is applied to the plate and
it is wiped clean leaving ink only in the areas below the surface of the
plate. The plate is put through an etching press to transfer the image
on the plate onto various types of paper used for intaglio printing.
The price of such prints is usually less than art of the same size and
quality done in a medium such as oil, for example, because the artist
can make more than one artwork with the same plate. Prints of a very limited
edition would be of more value than those of a very large edition.
Etching: The plate is covered with a substance (called a ground) which resists acid. The ground is removed by the artist with various etching tools . The plate is placed in a bath of acid, and areas with ground removed are bitten by the acid to produce the etched image.
Aquatint: Porous ground which is semi-acid resistant is applied to the plate to create a tone or varied tones. It is often combined with line etching.
Drypoint: The image is cut into the plate by the artist with a
diamond-hard tool. This method produces a ridge along the incisions, called
burr. This gives a drypoint line a characteristic appearance of softness
different from the sharp clean lines of an etching.
Giclées are fine art digital prints. They are prints generated by an inkjet printer from a digital image of an original artwork. The digital image is adjusted in a computer application to insure that the print will look exactly like the original artwork. The french word, "giclée" means "that which is sprayed". If the giclée is created by the artist they are usually signed.
The price of a giclée can vary considerably depending on the size and the longevity of the ink and paper used to create it. I print my giclées with Epson pigment based inks on Epson photo quality matte paper. The ink and paper I use tests to a longevity of about 72 years.
Very important: All giclee prints should always be displayed under glass and out of direct light since this greatly protects their longevity. If a giclée is left out in direct light of any kind and not covered by protective glass or plexiglass, it will not last long no matter how archival the production materials are. I sell my prints with a firm backing and single white matte cut to the standard frame size for convenient framing.