To edition or not to edition

I love screenprinting and sell many of my prints online. However last year I decided to stop editioning my prints.

My working practice has not changed – my prints are all hand made and printed in small numbers (usually fewer than 30 at a time). But I have decided to stop numbering my prints. This is for three main reasons:

I am not great at counting. More often than not, I finish numbering a pile of prints only to find I have miscounted how many I made. I have several editions of 20 that only comprise 18 or 19 prints.

I like to play with colours and paper. I often remix my inks or change my paper halfway through printing, sometimes printing the same image in several different versions or on several different backgrounds. This is problematic from an editioning point of view.

Digital printing makes editioning meaningless. The art world is awash with giclee prints and limited editions. Digital prints are brilliant (I sell some), but there is nothing remotely limited about them. The language of editioning has become a marketing tool, used to create an artificial sense of scarcity and authorship. I’m done with it.

I will still continue to sign my prints. But I leave the edition to those who print with an inkjet rather than a squeegee.


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