Most of my print work is sold as limited editions. In a limited edition I restrict what I print to a specific number. This means that once I reach that number I will not be selling any more of that print. This makes my work very special because once you purchase it you will know that few other people actually own the same image. It is not mass produced like other art you might find elsewhere – each piece is carefully printed by hand until the edition is sold out.
Edition sizes are to some extent controlled by the printmaking method used. Acid etching prints, for example, use a robust printing plate so I can produce bigger runs and you might see edition sizes of 50, 100 or even 200. Some of my screen prints I have to print things in one session before screens are cleaned and reused so you might see smaller edition sizes such as 20 to 25.
I sign all my work and include the edition number and the number in the edition at the bottom of each print. The second print in an edition of 20, for example, will show 2/20 at the bottom corner of the print.
When producing limited editions artists can create a small number of ‘artist proof’ images for each edition. These prints will display ‘AP’ in the bottom corner rather than an edition number. Traditionally artists have printed up to an additional 10% of their work and kept it back for themselves or to sell directly. In printmaking I use these prints to experiment to get prints just right producing a handful of prints that I am happy are good enough to sell as AP prints or keep back for myself, family or friends.
I also have a handful of smaller more affordable work where I use an open edition. This means that I do not limit the edition size.