Strappo Technique

Strappo is a combination of painting and printmaking. It is a monotype dry acrylic image transfer that was developed and named by artist, Harold Garde. This technique has been recognized by the New York Metropolitan Museum Print Library and a sample of the Strappo image is in the museum’s collection.

An acrylic painting is developed, painted on a clear glass plate in reverse. When the image is fully formed and dry, to thicken the acrylic skin, successive layers of acrylic gesso are added. For the transfer process, fresh coats of acrylic gesso are applied both to the back of the glass plate and on the sheet where the image will be printed. The plate is placed on the prepared surface while the fresh gesso surfaces are still wet. Weights are placed to insure contact while the gesso layers bond. After the acrylic layers are bonded, the image and attached surface will be peeled from the glass. It is exactly the image as painted. The image, a monotype, is now transferred and the glass plate is clean. The surface of the image is smooth because it was developed on the smooth surface of the glass. A great advantage is that it does not require the use of a press.

A strappo image has a surface that is unique in its tactile and visual qualities. This method expands the print makers choices. It has proven useful, adding to the range of techniques available for an artist’s visual expression.


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