The Definition : Giclee (zhee-klay) - The
French word "giclée" is a feminine noun that means a spray or a spurt of
liquid. The word may have been derived from the French verb "gicler" meaning
Serigraphy from the Greek Words serikos (silk) and graphos (writing), is basically a stencil process.
A screen of silk, nylon or wire is tightly stretched across a frame. A non-porous material
is then used to block out parts of the mesh in a chosen design. The "open" parts
of the screen allow for the ink to be squeegee through to the paper below resulting in the
final printed image. Each color must be printed separately and the paper must be allowed
to dry each time before the next color can be applied. The prints are on drying
racks to keep each print separate to protect them from damage and to allow air to
circulate for drying. Serigraphs are often printed with 40 or more colors.
The idea of printing with stencils is thought to go back as far as the drawings of early cave dwellers. It is a known fact that they were used in the Middle Ages to enhance other prints. It became a medium promoted in the U.S. during the depression, but seemed to loose interest in the 1950's. At this time artists in other countries picked up the medium. Finally in the 1960's it once again made a comeback in the U.S. and has since become a very important part of the art market.
Silk-screening is a very popular medium chosen by artists because of it's versatility. The equipment is easily assembled and relatively compact and inexpensive, The screens can be stretched to accommodate large works and there are a number of techniques to produce the stencil image on the screen.
Although the procedure may sound easy, it is really a complex process which must be mastered by the artist. Serigraphy itself is an art form and serigraphs have become valuable collectors items.