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Alois Senefelder developed the first technique to transfer images onto different surfaces while systematising lithography using prepared paper as an intermediate surface to multiply original drawings. Already in 1850, Firmin Gillot patented ‘gillotage’, a manual transfer process combining transfer paper and greasy lithographic transfer inks to reproduce original drawings onto zinc plates. This article explains why artists may wish to partially reconstruct such techniques in a fine art studio. By involving participants to understand the creative potential of image making modes, Ground Lab, a Pure Print research group, proposes an extended understanding of printmaking which may serve the illustration, design, publishing and academic communities. Our current attempts to recreate handmade surface prepared papers aim to review not only its historical application in drawing for reproduction and print based outputs, but also to experiment nowadays the expressive potential of such past industrially made artefacts. Within the framework of this analysis, we connect two lines of research: (1) Select and reproduce earlier commercial versions of transfer paper, process paper and photosensitive paper, combined with experimental intaglio, and lithographic techniques; (2) Improve, adapt and combine original paper coating formulas, both non-photographic and photographic, and explore specific methods suitable for current need to produce rich coated surfaces in fine art print facilities. Print and its history gain attention as we propose an approach that understands media contesting curricula tendency towards new technologies or old hierarchies. By recognising the importance of materiality, collaboration, ethics, and action needed to reconstruct commercial and fine art print based practices, we aim to use and expand such crucial features in print as key ingredients in a creative multimedia practice.