A lithograph is a print of a drawing realised on the ground surface of a
lime stone. The principle of this technique is based on the fact that water
and grease repel each other.

The following pages explain the steps to be made:

  1. With water and abrasives two lime stones are ground together. Those stones should be level!
  2. On the surface of the stone a drawing is to be made with fatty crayons or pencils.
  3. Once finished we dust the drawing with talc.
  4. We apply a thin layer of gum arabic solution across the whole stone. This causes the necessary chemical reactions on the surface of the stone.
  5. Before printing the stone has to be “cleaned”. The fatty drawing is taken away with white spirit and the arabic gum layer is taken away with water.
  6. From now on the stone is to be kept damp! We ink the stone by rolling up the
    printing ink with a charged leather roller. Only the “washed out” drawing appears in printing ink. The rest of the stone is damp and not attached by printing ink.
  7. The paper that has to be printed is positioned on the stone. A tympan and backing sheet are positioned on top of it.
  8. The press-bed, with the stone on it, is moved to its starting position. The press-pressure is adjusted; the stone is passed through the press.

    The pressure is now released and the press-bed is pulled back. The printing proof is carefully removed (and the stone immediately dampened!).

Lithography in action

Film and montage: Lukas Jonkman
Filmed and montaged: Wim Jonkman
Filmed at Lithography Workshop Obelisk