10 September 2017

Printmaking Progress

So part of my vacation included taking a printmaking class. This one focused on relief printmaking but used a Vandercook Proofing Press instead of an etching press or a baren. I've never used a proofing press, so it was an adventure. First we used different kinds of alphabet type to run prints, then they became the backgrounds for other prints. In setting the type we learned the odd terminology of typesetting and using a Vandercook press - placing 'furniture', quoins, keys, lock-up, platen, cylinders, packing, pressure, ink distribution and proofing. Whew!

The next day we brought our lino blocks and locked them in the press bed using the 'furniture'. We then ran prints using plain paper of different weights, and also used some of the pre-printed type images we made the day before. I used Tinman, a linoblock I carved in class. You'll see some of the variants below, along with another print I did cutting pieces out of a flexible medium that had a sticky backing. We stuck them down on an acrylic block positioned on the press. And locked in with furniture, of course. (Furniture is blocks of wood in various lengths and thicknesses that are used to position the block on the press and keep it from moving. Quoins are small metal rods that can be expanded with a Key to help make the whole thing immobile.)

After we finished with the press, there was still cleaning it, a lengthy and smelly process involving dismantling the press rollers, cleaning them with rags and solvent, cleaning underneath where the rollers were, and reassembling the whole thing. So if you wanted to do multiple colors, you spent a lot of time cleaning. Or you printed in one color and did another the next as we did.

What I learned in that class can be applied to my etching press and home studio. I have various blocks I've carved and will be printing them in the next few months. I also am doing a white line print for a Baren woodblock printmaking group. It's a new process for me, a bit tedious, but I think I like it. Those prints coming soon.

What did you do on YOUR vacation?

Dachshund print that refused to play nice in the press and kept fading. Hand printing for the naughty doggy.


Kathleen Cassen Mickelson said...

Of course, the naughty doggy is my fav! :-) Printmaking is complex, isn't it?

Constance Brewer said...

Printmaking can be. Or really simple. I like simple. And I'll have to hand print your dog to get a good copy, I think. :)