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What is Serigraphy?

Serigraphy originated from ancient Japan, where the process of Silk Screening was invented. Using serigraphy, artists create original fine art pieces. The word Serigraph comes from the Greek roots  "Seri," which means silk and "graph," which means write or draw. Traditionally, serigraphy and silk screening create a sharp-edged image using a stencil and a porous fabric. The Japanese used screens made of silk and hair stretched over wood frames to print very simplistic stencils of floral patterns onto their kimonos. Modern "screens" are made of polyester, stretched tightly over aluminum frames.

Rick Rush's Serigraph Press

Since 1980, Rick Rush has been creating limited edition serigraphs through the art of stratification, by hand mixing paints onto canvas. Each pass is made with care across a positive plate in a process that we call envay (en-vae). While an envoy is a messenger of politics, an envay is a messenger of art into every home. While serigraphy today is a much more advanced form of Silk Screening, in principle, the two are still very much alike, as the techniques are generally the same. 

  • To begin the process, Rick first creates an original oil painting.
  • Rick creates "stencils" painstakingly by hand painting each color layer onto transparent films, traced from a master copy of the original oil painting.
  • The a stenciled image is placed onto the screen and exposed to light. Light hardens the liquid coating on the screen - thus sealing the "pores" of the screen. The area of the screen covered by the stencil is left un-exposed, however, so that once washed, the screen now has a carbon copy of the stenciled image "burned" into it. placed onto the screen and exposed to light.
  • The "burned" screen is placed onto our press, and locked into place above our "Master" of the Original Painting. We very carefully register the screen to the master, and can then begin our stratification of the one color.
  • This is repeated for every layer of color. At Rick Rush studios, many of our Serigraph Prints contain over 50 colors. For a painting with 58 colors, Rick must recreate the individual elements of his original painting 58 times onto the transparent films.