Melanie Fain PO Box 187 Boerne, Texas 78006 210/-844-9966
A Printmaker’s Chop is a mark or seal made with an embossing tool in the margin of an etching or lithograph. It is a symbol used to indicate where the print was made, or more specifically, on whose press the etching was "pulled". A printmaker may pull their prints on their own studio press, or they may have a master printmaker at a commercial press pull their editions of etchings or lithographs for them.
The chop is customarily a symbol that holds particular meaning for the printmaker or owner of the commercial press.
I pull my etchings on my own press and emboss each one with my personal chop when completed. The small raised marks you see around my signature in the lower margin of the etching form the rattles of a rattlesnake's tail. I felt the rattler chop was unusual and would be a symbol not readily used by anyone. It would be a mark that people would remember and associate with my work. It would be symbolic of starting my professional art career in South Texas.
I am still a printmaker (since 1982), pulling my own fine art etchings of the natural world that people love. The chop mark is a well remembered symbol to collectors and continues to draw the curiosity from those who come in for a closer look at my work.