Stanley William Hayter
Perhaps the most significant contribution made by Hayter and his colleagues at Atelier 17 is the development of a method for printing a multi-colored intaglio plate in one operation. Hayter’s earliest color engravings, produced just after he arrived in the U. S., required the colored inks to be applied first to the paper by way of stencils, usually silk screens, before the intaglio plate, inked in black, could be printed over them. By 1943, he had perfected a process that allowed as many as four colors to be applied simultaneously by stencil directly to the intaglio plate, thus allowing the print to by pulled in a single pressing. This is the manner in which Jeux d’eau was produced ten years later. The process, though, was time and especially labor intensive. Hayter could handle the inking of the intaglio plate; however, he needed three assistants to wield the orange, blue, and yellow stencils. It is likely for this reason that, about halfway through the edition run for Jeux d’eau, the artist decided to drop out two of the colors. The remaining sheets were printed in just blue and black.
Palmer Museum of Art, The Pennsylvania State University
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Engraving and soft-ground etching with stencil; plate: 14-15/16 x 12-3/8 in. (38 x 31.5 cm), sheet: 23-5/8 x 18-1/2 in. (60 x 47 cm)