What is non-toxic printmaking?
Non-toxic printmaking is a term used today for healthier and environmentally safer methods in the creation of fine art prints. The “traditional” ways to produce prints may often involve use of hazardous solvents, chemicals and colours that not only are potentially dangerous for the artists who use them but for the environment as well. Artists have damaged their health or even lost their lives due to wrong use of artist materials. Fortunately, many artists have dramatically changed their methods of working, being aware of the inherent risks in their professional field. An increasing number of non-toxic printmaking workshops are being offered and new materials developed.
Artists and educators in the fine arts carry immense responsibilities regarding what art materials are being used in education, in individual / collective studios, and the effect these materials have on the community as well as the environment. It is a motivating challenge to promote and develop art materials for artistic expression that do not harm the health of artists and help protect the environment. It is important to convey this knowledge to new generations of artists and educators to come.
VIA-art is an active participant in this ongoing research and intends to contribute to the knowledge base in non-toxic methods in fine art printmaking and in the fine arts in general.