Reinis Gailītis Emerging artist
About the artist
Reinis Gailītis a printmaker specializing in the hand engraved printmaking techniques - copper engraving (16th, 17th century) and wood engraving (18th, 19th century). These are some of the most laborious and technically difficult of the printing techniques do to which they are almost extinct in this day and age. But he believes that they still serve a purpose. Even though machine engraving has gone great lengths with development of better and finer CNC machines, but they still have not rivaled the quality of a hand engraved line. It can be explained by the method of engraving. If CNC is using rotary tools, small drills which leave even flat, round line, then hand engraving utilizes burin (a fine engraving chisel) which lifts a chip (bur) from the metal plate resulting in sharp, crisp and dynamic line. Such line far surpasses any other in its quality may it be machine engraved, etched, screen or digitally printed. Story of printmaking techniques is a story of technological innovation in printing. Faster, cheaper printing processes surpassed one another. But today and especially in visual arts, we judge a work not of the speed, but by the quality. That’s also the case with copper and wood engraving. Despite their differences, they share something in common, their visual language, character of the hand engraved line, which is positive (black) in copper engraving, but negative (white) in wood engraving. Because of this reason he has spent more than a year in attempts of combining two of these never before combined techniques.