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1 HETEROGLOSSIA Serena Smith 2023



Rocks and Stones

Elemental Dust

Sacrificial Inscriptions

Viscous Gifts


Audible Membranes

Ink and Skin




The heterogeneous languages of lithography

Worlds coalesced around the porous substrate of Bavarian limestone, when in 1796 the aspiring young playwrightAlois Senefelder (1771 –1834) invented lithography. Whilst his first intention was to find an economical way to print playscripts, he quickly realised that as well as disseminate the spoken word, this new method would also be suitable for printing music. Subsequently, stone lithography flourished to become the ubiquitous means through which all manner of visual forms could be reproduced: from ruled manuscript staves to a freehand crescendo, from the lyric of poetry to prosaic text, from an imagined picturesque, to the cartographically charted and claimed, and from Cantonese characters to the gestures of sign language. Chemically based on the antipathy of oil and water, without the need for a unifying syntax, this polyglot technology moved with unique ease between multiple modes of representation, and it was as such, that a planographic matrix of Jurassic limestone gave rise to heterogeneous inscriptions of language.

Under scrutiny, images printed from stone silently evidence the lithographic process. This might be seen in the particularity of the drawing, or in qualities of the printed paper that bear traces of material relations between artist, lithographic process, and the mechanics of printing. Invisible to a viewer, is the weight of the limestone, the smell of turpentine and gumArabic, and the noise of a lithography workshop. Out of sight, but historically embedded, are the skills that shaped the making of the object: labours, practices, and genealogies of knowledge, passed on by word of mouth, from generation to generation. To some extent this hidden artisan knowledge has been shared in technical handbooks, Senefelder’s own Complete Course of Lithography, was first published in 1819 and

many others have followed. With the aim of demystifying what can seem a complex process, through words and pictures these handbooks aim to instruct, and clarify the practicalities of the process.Although necessarily, what remains beyond the scope of didactic language, is a sleight of hand, a momentary gesture, and the unspoken contingency of the moment.

Material resources

Ideal for printing pictorial information, by the mid-19th century stone lithography had become very useful as an economical way to share knowledge that was best communicated through scripto-visual languages. One of many fields that responded to this potential was anatomical illustration. From the age of antiquity, medical publications had often been the outcome of collaborative ventures, in which a physician’s observations were visualised by an artist, and subsequently cut into a wood or metal print matrix by an artisan plate engraver. As an autographic process, that that did not require the services of a trained line engraver, lithography offered an alternative. For artistically talented physicians, it was no longer necessary for their clinical observations to be interpreted and transcribed by the hands of others. And so, when Professor Robert Carswell’s, Pathological Anatomy: illustrations of the elementary forms of disease, was published in 1838, the detailed drawings depicting diseased bodies were Carswell’s own; his being the hands and eyes that both dissected the eviscerated organs of the dead and those that drew what he saw onto the lithographic stones to be printed.

Followed in 1856 by Joseph Maclise’s Surgical Anatomy, for the medical student, voyeur, or aesthetically curious, these beautiful, hand-coloured, volumes of lithographs drawn on stone by the surgeons themselves, aimed to share through words and pictures, empirical knowledge from the sensory environment of a surgical


theatre. Whilst printed in the 19th century, the details, colour, and graphic clarity of these images still convey with exactitude, visual information relevant for surgical practitioners in the 21st century. And, in the particularity of their revelations, as subject matter and printed trace these works bear indexical witness to intimate relations between surgeon-anatomists, the bodies of their subjects, and the materials of stone lithography. Necessarily unrepresentable, are the physical labours of dissection, the dead weight of a human body, and the visceral odours of disease and decay. Equally absent, are the identities of the un-consenting souls depicted, whose excavated bodies were the material resources for a flourishing of surgical knowledge and practice in the 19th Century.

indivisibly embed these so-called natural resources, in both the transactional ecologies of colonialism and its afterlives, and the elemental matter of sentient life. In the words of Professor of Inhuman Geography, Kathryn Yusoff,

We are all, after all, involved in geology, from the cosmic mineralogical constitution of our bodies to the practices and aesthetics that fuel our consumption and ongoing extraction.

(2018, 101)

Cosmic ecologies

The fine dexterous hands and observational skills of Carswell and Maclise, would have been well suited to the art of lithography. When drawing their anatomical illustrations on stone, they may have also felt some affinity between the lifeless skin of their deceased subjects and the limestone. Laboriously prepared to resemble a sheet of paper, pressed against their own flesh would have been a smooth, cold, dense matrix, occasionally veined with iron oxide deposits and freckled with the fossilized patina of micro-organisms. Afragile substance, vulnerable to abrasion, scratches, and the burn of acids; and sensitive to warmth, humidity, and the grease from a fingerprint. In corporeal kinship with the human body, a sedimentary rock in part composed of the skeletal detritus and petrified remains of distant microbial relations.

Other elements familiar to 19th Century surgeons are also found in lithography workshops: strong well-lit tables, sharp tools and abrasives, and a miscellany of powders, fats, crystals, and liquids. Some corrosive some curative, these various chemicals and substances, being an array of distilled and refined solutions, animal and vegetable excretions, geological deposits, and elemental matter. Valued for centuries, for their medicinal, toxic, or industrially useful properties, in the Victorian era these consumable resources were traded as the justifiably claimed bounty from a fertile planet. Today, these gleaned, cultivated, extracted, and commodified, products of global economies, might also be understood as the subterranean residue of primordial events, geo-political forces, and exploited lives. Quarried from the earth’s crust and harvested from the living and the dead, silently present in these traded goods, are genealogies that

Apolyphonous script

These material resources and their historical lives, as with the anonymous artisans of lithographic workshops and Carswell and Maclises’anatomical subjects, are but ghosts in the printed volumes. In technical handbooks for lithographers, on the other hand, clear descriptions of the tools for the job are essential, and these chemicals and sundries are often featured in a glossary1. In his Handbook of Lithography, first published in 1905, lecturer in lithography David Cumming, was particularly attentive to this information and devoted several pages to the origins, characteristics, and efficacy of seven types of gumArabic, each one tested for colour, smell, shape, aesthetic appearance, and taste.

As a glossary of materials, Heteroglossia2 similarly pays attention to the particularities of lithographic materials. In this, my intention is to reveal something of what lies beneath these printed pages, and to bear witness to the embedded presence of lives that shaped, and continue to be shaped by, the practices of stone lithography. Discretely inflecting this volume’s aesthetic qualities and content are the publications of Carswell and Maclise, more explicitly featured on its pages are quotations from a miscellany of technical handbooks. In polyphony with voices gleaned from diverse bodies of knowledge, this transdisciplinary cast plays homage to the lyrical birth of stone lithography, and the heterogeneity of its incarnate languages.

Indelibly inscribed in this material, are visceral and elemental relations that bind the artist and a reader to the geo-social, economic, and cosmological forces of this present moment. Unavoidably absent, are the sounds, smells, and tactile sensations of a lithography workshop. What might however be encountered as you turn the pages, are captured gestures from a moving hand, impressed traces of Jurassic limestone, and imagined worlds, past, present, and future, that lie beyond these configurations of text and image.

1 A glossary generally refers to the vocabulary specific to a particular domain of knowledge. Etymologically the term derives from the Greek word glóssa (γλώσσα), meaning language, tongue, or word of mouth.

2 The term Heteroglossia, to mean the co-existence of multiple fields, relations, and voices within a given language, was brought into literary use by Russian theorist Mikhail Bakhtin

in his 1934 paper Слово в романе [Slovo v romane]; published in English as "Discourse in the Novel", in Bakhtin, M.M. (1981) The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays by M. M. Bakhtin. Ed. Michael Holquist. Trans. Caryl Emerson and Michael Holquist. Austin and London: University of Texas Press.


Rocks and Stones

In its shape shifting mineral life calcium carbonate precipitates in efflorescent clouds that leaven the silt of saturated brine and a microbial bloom that cements the particulate crumbs of broken earth

Calcareous, in iridescent mantles, stellate spines, coralline labyrinths and the whorling gyrations of a narwhal tusk

And tenacious, in water borne deposits that linger in domestic crevices and parched Martian craters

Friable as the white detritus that charts an eroding shore and immortalizing in words cut into the sepulchral sheen of bitumen black marble

Held up to the sun in prismatic translucency

it is a rhomboid lens that signals the crystalline purity of Iceland spar

Unseen underfoot

it is the soft glassine splintering of a cochleate dwelling

For a physician calcium carbonate is the life forming chemical compound that roams accumulates and ossifies as skeletal matter

Pathologically brittle and sclerotic in the tailoring hands of a maxillofacial surgeon, it is a biocompatible coral graft that mutates heals and calcifies as human bone

For a lithographer calcium carbonate is Solnhofen limestone

The outcome of millennia of diagenesis, technology and the calloused hands of quarrymen and artisan printers

Asoft sedimentary rock, first mined by enslaved labour, of which it was once said:

There can be no doubt that the Creator of all good has arranged and preserved this wonderful storehouse of material, with the same consideration with which He has granted the inexhaustible mines of coal and other minerals for the welfare and enriching of mankind (Cumming, 9)


... the stone ... is placed on a strong horizontal table and thinly covered with fine sand, mixed with a spoonful of water ... Another stone is now put on the surface of the first, and moved up and down in different directions. At intervals fresh sand and water must be applied.

(Alois Senefelder 1819, 107)

The chief abrasives in use today for grinding the surface of lithograph stones are Carborundum grits of various sizes (Antresian &Adams 1970, 290)

Unknown to humanity until 1893, it was an ambition to create artificial diamonds that led to the discovery of silicon carbide by inventor Edward Goodrich Acheson. Patented by him as Carborundum, minute deposits of the same mineral compound were also found in meteor samples inArizona and identified by Henri Moissan to be stardust - common in outer space, but extremely rare on earth Hard, durable, conductive and heat resistant, industrially manufactured silicon carbide is now ubiquitous, and can be found in circuit boards, light emitting diodes, sandpaper, cutting tools, body armour, hemocompatible technology, synthetic moissanite jewellery, dental implants, brake discs, crucibles, skateboards, optical instruments, astronomical telescopes, space craft, and nuclear reactors.And lethally, as dust that accumulates in the lungs of gemstone factory workers.


Pumice Stone is volcanic lava of an extremely porous nature, and is exported largely from the Lipari Islands in the Mediterranean ... It is of a fine, gritty nature, and most useful for polishing litho. stones

(Cumming, 54)

Abrasive to the touch, pumice has been used variously as a material for construction purposes, and in cosmetic and medical applications as a paste, ointment, or powder, to cleanse, exfoliate, and aid the healing of skin, teeth, eyes, and nails. Compressed into small sticks, as polishing instruments these are used by lithographers to erase unwanted marks on stone. No longer available from print trade suppliers, more easily purchased are those regularly used in nail salons where migrant workers intimately attend to the manicured nails and unfamiliar feet of strangers.

This igneous deposit first falls in suffocating showers and burning rivers that incarcerate, petrify and silence. Blown out from the explosive environment, minute wind born particles of fine ash disperse atmospherically, and cooling magma solidifies in cavity rich formations of pyroclastic matter Otherwise known as spuma maris, uniquely this vesicular rock is buoyant. Carried in an ocean borne exodus, fragments of this lightweight traveller drift for miles, gathering in clusters to form floating rafts that follow the tide. Exposed to the sun and rain, these lightweight vessels are noted to be life sustaining habitats for nascent organisms, roaming the seas for months before making landfall on distant shores.

Water-Of-Ayr Stone is so called because it is found on the banks of the River Ayr, in Ayrshire, Scotland. It is of a beautiful soft, close texture, and although found in other places, that obtained from the above-named district is considered the finest ... It is well-known as Snake Stone and also as Tam-o’-Shanter Stone, the latter name being adopted to distinguish a special brand of excellent quality. In lithography is it used in large blocks to give the final glass-like polish to litho. stones before transferring, and in small slips or pencils to clean or polish away spots and any superfluous work.

(Cumming, 53)


Elemental Dust

Running through the blood of humankind is the erubescent glow of a ferrous element Oxygenating the sanguineous carrier: a primordial stain that resides in the veins, rocks, rivers and mantle of this raddled earth

Abirthmark of cosmogenic affinity with the red skinned planet ritually touched, it has been called a native pigment

Ground, blown, spattered and drawn contouring the flesh, rubifying the text, and colouring the tongue as Indian Red, Morelle Salt, Colcothar, miltos, sinopia, Burnt Sienna, Mars Red and haematite

Powdered red oxide is an inert mineral pigment and is used as a tracing substance. A little of the pigment is evenly wiped onto a sheet of newsprint or tracing paper with a tuft of cotton. After it is well worked in, the excess powder is blown off. The sheet is then used like carbon paper, placed face down between the original drawing and the printing element. Traces drawn over it will produce crisp light-red lines that will not interfere with either the drawing or the lithographic functions. (Antresian &Adams, 286)


As kith and kin carbon circulates the earthly and heavenly bodies of our cosmos inhabiting this ark in multifarious and binding relations

Ingrained as fine soot in the intricate patterns of tattooed flesh and tissues of coal miners


in the warm breath of a singer and suffocating atmosphere of a once temperate climate

Obscuring the light in the shadow of industrial haze and deciduous shelter of ancient forests

Flickering in the dance of candlelight and hungry flames of burning ground

Indelibly overspilt as the smoking gun of melting glaciers

Lamp-black is a carbon obtained by burning natural gas and oils and collecting the soot. To make this black very pure, it is heated, when the impurities are mostly driven off in the shape of yellowish fumes. This is put in the writing ink to give colour only, and in larger quantities into chalks and plate transfer inks to give body and freeness in working qualities. (Cumming, 19)


Sacrificial Inscriptions

Lithographic Chalks … contain some or all of the following component parts in different degrees, depending on the softness or hardness required: soap, wax, tallow, shellac and lamp black. Soap imparts grease and, in addition, being alkaline, its presence makes it possible to reduce the chalk with water. The tallow also imparts grease. The shellac and wax impart hardness and firmness. (Trivick, 33)

Complicit in the cultivation of arboreal infestations, and over 60 million US dollars of shellac export from India, is a small parasitic insect. This trade route originates in swarms of Kerria lacca nymphs that settle on trees and begin to feed. Genetically programmed to cooperate, as they suck phloem sap from the bark of their host, the maturing females simultaneously excrete a sticky red fluid. Hardening as a chamber that protects the insects and their eggs, these habitats accumulate as resinous deposits on the tree. Used commercially as a sealant, insulator, and varnish, to prepare the lac for processing, twigs of the ‘stick lac’ are stripped, crushed, and sorted to remove detritus and insect parts. Sacrificed in the process, the best yields are gained when the females are still living.

Writing in 1940 Ralph Mayer noted that Chinese insect wax, a rather good substitute for beeswax, is likewise the product of industrial relations: … cultivated on trees in Yunan province … at the proper moment in their development, the eggs are packed in small bundles which are carried by swift runners who travel, during the cool nights, several hundred miles to Szechwan province where they are placed on trees of a different species to complete their life cycle. (Mayer, 416)


Tallow, a component of the soap in lithographic drawing materials and historically a grease to lubricate the press tympan, is a by-product of the meat industry. Derived from the carcasses of pigs, cattle, sheep, and horses, to render the fat after butchering, the hides, hooves and horns are first removed. The animal remains are then passed through cracker blades before boiling in vats of water. The liquid fat that floats is tallow.

… the slaughter of the livestock involves three distinct stages: preslaughter handling, stunning, and slaughtering ... Before slaughter, animals should be allowed access to water but held off feed for 12 to 24 hours to assure complete bleeding and ease of evisceration (the removal of internal organs) ... As the slaughter process begins, livestock are restrained in a chute that limits physical movement of the animal ... After stunning, animals are usually suspended by a hind limb and moved down a conveyor line for the slaughter procedures. They are typically bled (a process called sticking or exsanguination) by the insertion of a knife into the thoracic cavity and severance of the carotid artery and jugular vein. This method allows for maximal blood removal from the body … Cattle, calves, and sheep … are suspended by the Achilles tendon of a hind leg for exsanguination (Cross)


Viscous Gifts

Both transfer ink and printing ink are composed of fatty-acid materials in the form of oils and waxes; the vehicles of these inks are the varnishes made of boiled linseed oils which are graded by acid number and degree of viscosity. (Antresian &Adams, 257)

Carpeting the prairies of Western Canada in a sea of pale indigo blue is flax, one of civilisations’oldest crops. The source of linseed oil - a mucilaginous liquid used to make sealing varnishes and waterresistant paints - the small brown flaxseeds are also known to protect human health. Historically their medicinal value was noted, among others, by Hippocrates (650BC). Consumed today as either a functional food or nutraceutical product, research indicates that flaxseed contains essential fatty acids, fibre, antioxidants and phytoestrogens, and can help to protect against heart disease, reduce cholesterol and inflammation, and lower the risk of some cancers. From knowledge developed over millennia, Ayurvedic practices similarly document the therapeutic and medicinal uses of linseed oil, to protect mental and physical well-being, ease inflammation, and aid the healing of wounds. My own experience of this curative substance dates back to a broken window, thumb prints in a line of white putty, and a warm waxy smell.

Linseed oil is pressed from the seeds of the flax plant which is grown in all temperate or cold climates. The seed from each flax-growing region has its own characteristics and is rated in quality accordingly. The impurity which is principally responsible for variations in quality is foreign or weed seed. This is true of any commercial vegetable oil. Sometimes foreign seeds are added deliberately. (Mayer, 130)


Gum was not always gold. Its first use was rather modest. There is no nutritional value in gum whatsoever, but it swells in the stomach. Therefore, Bedouin and animals who came across it on the margins of the desert ate it – and still do – to still their hunger when there was nothing else. When, at the end of the dry season, the animals no longer give milk and the dates are all eaten, gum Arabic helps to live up to the ancient Bedouin ideal of abstinence and the ability to cope with hunger. In Mauritania, the Hassanya (Arabic dialect) word used for gum is ilk, from alaka, to chew. (Van Dalen, 31-42)

Excluding VAT, one kilo of lump gumArabic can be bought in the UK for £20, which amounts to about four handfuls of the dry crystals - or 6 weeks wages for a Sudanese farm worker. An emulsifying colloid, globally consumed as an ingredient in foods, medicines, cosmetics, and notably, carbonated soda drinks, this valuable commodity originates in the Sahelian ‘gum-belt’of North Africa, whereAcacia trees grow in abundance. Harvested from two of the 600 species, the gum is ‘tapped’during the winter months when sections of the bark are stripped away to prompt the flow of gum. In response, to protect their bast from drying out in sub-Saharan winds, the trees slowly exude the glutinous beads. Hand-picked from the thorny trees under the relentless heat of theAfrican sun, these sticky golden tears are laboriously scraped off, dried, and sorted for export.

In the arid climate of Sudan, where 70% of the world’s gum originates, semi-desert living conditions have been in part relieved by initiatives that enable local growers to fund community wells from the cultivation of wild Acacia trees. Although overall, the colonial legacy continues to ensure that little of the gum’s value stays within the local population. Largely exported, it is European companies that glean the value-added rewards from their processing factories overseas. Acoveted crop, for centuries gum Arabic has been subject to the manipulation of social, political, and economic forces. In the trading environment that preceded seven years of ‘gum-wars’(1756 -1763), without a cultural and geological understanding of Northern Africa, French traders were forced to yield to the nomadic Berbers’monopoly. At the time, the value of gum shipped from the Senegal River valley had not yet begun to rival the lucrative sale of slaves. By 1997, the US government so valued its unhindered access to this essential commodity, that sanctions imposed to constrain the financial liquidity of (so-called) Islamic terrorists, exempted gumArabic.

As I write, the movements of this viscous harvest continue to be at the centre of conflict. Whilst civil war in Sudan kills and starves millions, it is reported that the stockpiles of gumArabic held by global corporations - to quench their economic thirst for fizzy drinks - are expected to last for six months.

The action of gum on the lithographic stone is not thoroughly understood. It is certain, however, that it has a powerful action in giving the surface of the stone a certain grease-resisting property which no other substance has been found capable of producing. (Cumming, 38)



This acid, which is in much use for lithographic stone printing, was known as aqua fortis (strong water). It is obtained by distilling nitrate of soda and sulphuric acid. It must be kept in glass bottles with glass stoppers. (Trivick, 45)

Nitric Acid Health effects of acute exposure. Nitric acid is irritating and corrosive to all tissues with which it comes into contact. Acute inhalation of nitric acid vapour can lead to symptoms such as ocular and nasal irritation, sore throat, cough, chest tightness, headache, ataxia and confusion. In severe cases, pulmonary oedema may develop hours or days following exposure. Acute ingestion may cause burns to the oesophagus and stomach which can cause ulceration, haemorrhage and perforation. Abdominal pain, nausea, salivation, vomiting, diarrhoea and haematemesis may occur, and some cases may be fatal Dermal exposure may result in deep burns, blisters and permanent scarring. Ocular exposure may cause corneal burns, lacrimation, photophobia and blindness. (United Kingdom Government)


a resinous scent pervades artisanal air distilled fragrant and redolent of sawn timber

an astringent vapour inhaled and ingested elixir and potion odorous mortifying


a volatile liquor and woodland spirit

Oil of Turpentine, or Turps., its more familiar name, is a spirit greatly used in various arts. It is obtained in its crude form from various trees, but most abundantly from the pine and fir. The trees do not yield the fluid till about forty years old, and those which have the thickest bark and are well exposed to the sun give the greatest quantity … Turpentine, being a spirit, evaporates very quickly when exposed, which is one of its good qualities in lithographic use. (Cumming, 49)


Audible Membranes

The press tympan is a thin, smooth sheet of plastic or metal that is used to cover the printing element and print paper during printing. Its lubricated top surface travels in contact with the scraper bar when the press is in operation (Antresian &Adams, 349)

In sentient beings the tympanum, or ear drum, is a fragile membrane of auditory tissue that prompts the activation of nerve impulses subsequently interpreted by the brain as sound. Homophonically, tympanic vibrations can also be heard in the percussive resonance of pitched hides, reverberating in the lower frequencies across concert halls.

Similarly, a membrane held taut in a rigid frame, it was a tympan made of cloth on one ofAlois Senefelder’s early lithographic presses, that led to failures and frustration during the printing of composer Franz Johannes Gleißner’s sheet music. The problem being due to the inability of woven fabric to withstand three tons of pressure exerted by the press. This technical detail Senefelder later resolved by replacing the fabric with a good quality leather, ‘well strained in its frame, and sufficiently greased’ (Senefelder, 182).

Senefelder’s contemporary Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 –1827), likewise experienced early career frustration, when at 27 his hearing began to fail. Sadly, his was an irresolvable problem and by the age of 46 he was completely deaf. Damage to the auditory membrane and tinnitus are occupational hazards for musicians, however, Beethoven’s impairment was not caused by loud music Nor, as was common at the time, syphilis Alternatively, recent research suggests that Beethoven’s tragic hearing loss, and other ailments, were symptomatic of chronic lead poisoning; a condition most likely caused by cheap adulterated Hungarian wine that he frequently consumed to ease his troubled soul.

Rattle. Noise made by paper when it is handled, giving an indication of its stiffness (Collin, 195)

Ink and Skin

The nap roller... a suitable roller is of the first importance and its condition should be carefully attended by the printer ... It is covered by two or three plies of flannel and the leather covering is slipped on and tied firmly at each end ... The leather covering should be of the finest French calf skin, specially prepared for the purpose, and possessing a velvet-like grain. (Cumming, 116)

Neat’s foot oil. An organic, fatty oil from the bone marrow of cattle feet that is used to condition leather rollers. (Devon et al., 283)

An object of intriguing beauty, if cared for well a lithographer’s nap roller may last their lifetime. When new, the fine hand-stitched leather is the colour of lightly tanned Caucasian skin. Tailored to fit the underfelts snuggly, an almost invisible seam runs the length of the roller. To prevent penetration of moisture and preserve its condition, before use, the roller is bathed in Neat’s Foot oil. When no more can be absorbed the leather is ready for its nap to be raised: rolled in stiff varnish, scraped with a knife, and finished with a wire suede brush, the texture of the hide is pulled up to a fine soft pile. To maintain this velvet-like grain the roller needs regular grooming. Once rolled into the ink the calf skin is no longer pale tan but black.

Referred to in the trade as ‘fleshout’leather, it is the subcutaneous underside of the hide that gives the nap roller its soft pile. The even texture of the cured hypodermis is due to the density of hair follicles in the skin of a young animal yet to grow to full adult size ‘Calf’generally denotes an unweaned baby cow not older than eight months, however, if born male on a dairy farm, the creature is unlikely to live so long. Being a by-product of the milk industry, and economically unviable to keep, at birth male calves are separated from the mother and either shot or passed on to the meat industry. Possibly the worst option, is for the new-born calf to be crated and shipped overseas to feed an appetite for ‘white’veal In a brief and miserable life, penned on a slatted floor the tethered calf is fed only milk to tenderise his pale flesh for the table. Surplus to the kitchen, calf skins destined to be leather goods, are passed on from abattoirs to hide merchants who sell on the ‘wetsalted’product for around £13 per kilo.


Body. A general term for the consistency of ink, referring to its length, tack, and viscosity. (Devon et.al., 281)

Inks that are too thin require stiffening to allow controlled inking of delicate tonal passages. Sometimes a colour ink can be stiffened by mixing it with another colour ... that has a heavier body. Ink may also be stiffened by adding a heavy grade of varnish. This will tend to increase the tack, viscosity, and greasiness of the ink. (Antresian &Adams, 310)

Climate also affects the body of the ink. Running a little too freely in a New Mexico summer, the same ink may take some effort to scrape from a knife in the cooler regions of northern Europe. When the temperature falls, the viscosity of the ink increases. So too with the blood of a cardiac patient in therapeutically induced hypothermia. As the body’s core temperature drops below 35 degrees C, red cells agglutinate and thicken the blood. Slowing down circulation, this clinical intervention has been shown to protect vital organs, aid surgical outcomes, and preserve life.

Lay edge. Edge of the sheet of paper which touches one of the lays on the printing press Lay marks. Marks on the sheet showing which are the lay edges. (Collin, 133)

Kiss The noise made when the ink is pulled from the inking slab by the roller. (Weaver)

"Kiss” pressure. The starting point for setting the printing pressure, it is the point at which the scraper bar is seated gently against the matrix. (Devon et al., 283)


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29 Bibliography

An electronic publication based on: Heteroglossia

Artist’s bookwork of stone lithographs with hand off-set printed text. Drawn, printed, bound, and published by the artist. Edition of 7 individually coloured copies.

Serena Smith 2023



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