What's a Riso Art print?

Riso prints are a popular choice among artists for creating limited edition prints of their work, often featured in art zines or art boxes. Riso, short for Risograph, is a type of duplicating machine that combines the automation of offset printing with the personal characteristics of screen printing.

The Riso printing process was developed in Japan in the 1980s as an alternative to traditional printing methods. It quickly gained popularity due to its efficiency, low cost, and ability to produce high-quality prints in large quantities.

In the Riso printing process, a print master is created by burning an image onto a special paper. This master is then placed in a Riso machine, which uses automated screen printing techniques to transfer the image onto the printing substrate. Each print cycle is unique, as the print master is destroyed in the process, making each print one-of-a-kind.

One of the main characteristics of Riso prints is the limited color options available. Each drum in a Riso machine is assigned a specific color, and once it is set, it can only print that color for the rest of its life cycle. However, mixed colors can be achieved by combining multiple drums and colors.

Riso prints are often used for creating large numbers of prints, as they are relatively inexpensive to produce. However, the cost per print increases significantly with smaller print runs.

Artists often choose Riso prints for their unique qualities and the ability to create limited edition prints at an affordable price. The one-of-a-kind nature of each print, combined with the limited color options, gives Riso prints a distinct and personal feel, making them a popular choice for art zines and art boxes.

Art boxes are collections of mixed media, prints, and other artworks, often produced in limited editions. They may include studio tests and other unique pieces, and are often sought after by collectors.

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