Ella & Pitr: How To Make A Lithograph

posted by Cara Bray November 13, 2014

For all you hardcore print fans out there, you might want to stop what you’re doing and watch this truly captivating video of French artists Ella & Pitr making Lithograph prints. Covering the process from start to finish, this short film shows the true skill and craftsmanship required to create each one of these unique pieces of art. Initially sketching the design onto limestone, the pair work on an illustration in reverse together. This is then treated with chemical processes to produce a permanent impression or ‘etch,’ which is then ready for printing. After preparing the stone with a wet sponge, ink is applied to the rollers and damp paper is loaded into the lithography press. The ink sticks to the chemically treated, greasy areas (the drawing) and resists the wet surface, staying put on the roller. The result is a beautifully printed lithograph, each one an independent effort of exceptional skill and patience.

Ella & Pitr / Le poids des choses from Sold Art – Urban Art Gallery on Vimeo.

Ella and Pitr, make up the working couple Papers Painters and have been making art together for a number of years. We asked them a few questions about their latest venture:

When did you start working with the method of Lithography?
This was actually our first time!

What do you enjoy most about using this process?
The relationship with the stone, the rarity, weight and physical work required. We often feel closer to the art as artists, this technique seems more natural than others.

How long does the entire process from drawing to printing take you?
This is always different for each project, for this lithography, it took a day.

Do you think that Lithography is a fading art form or do you think it will still be used for years to come?
Few people know how to do lithography, so it has the possibility to disappear… but maybe we can restore life in the stone!

What does the magic of Lithography mean to you?
Reality. No computer and a plot directly on the stone. That’s the magic.

Cara Bray

Cara Bray

Blog contributor at People of Print
Cara Bray

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