So you’ve seen a piece of artwork you love, the next thing to do is look at the edition information. This gives you more of an insight into the artwork and its rarity. A limited-edition print means that there is a limited amount that has been created, after this limited amount the artist destroys the plate or matrix that was used to create it so the size of the edition never changes.
As a printmaker, I create multiple versions of the same work, although they are not unique the handmade process and slight variations mean that each one is considered an original work of art.
The limited number of impressions is known as an edition. Within this each print quality checked, some prints, unfortunately, don’t get past this stage. The final pieces are counted, and this becomes the final edition size.
Each piece is signed in pencil, including a fraction on the left-hand side eg: 1/10 which denotes the number of the piece and the total edition size, so this is number 1 of 10 pieces.
The title goes in the centre and artists signature and year of creation on the right-hand side.
You may sometimes see AP on a print, this is known as a test print, it could be using different paper or have been altered before printing the edition. AP’s should only make up 10% of the total edition.
Sometimes prints are defined as open edition (O.E) this means that there is no limit on how many pieces the artist can create.
If you see V.E that means it is a variable edition, each print has something that makes it different to the others in the edition, this could be through colour or texture for example.
Most of my pieces are created using techniques like reduction printing, and the plate is destroyed in the making of the artwork so these are always limited edition.
In general, the fewer prints exist the more valuable the work. Original printmaking (unlike digital prints) keep their value as they are original works of art.
You can check out my current limited edition prints in the shop.