After a long break I am back on the press this week. Having a forcible separation from the printing of this book has done me (and it) some good. When I returned to the studio I came to the reluctant conclusion that the hurried colorful page that I had been printing just before I left must be abandoned. Remember this?:
Well it is NOT GOING IN THE BOOK. I was so desperate to finish the printing of the book before I had to get on a plane all those weeks ago that I rushed this page and have never really been happy with it since. I was nine runs deep when it was time to go, and I hadn’t allowed any time to step back and have a look at it. Now that I can see it clearly, I know it doesn’t fit. So I have set this folio aside. I may continue to work on it and include it in the suite of prints that accompany the book, but it won’t make it into the book itself. Instead I have started fresh.
A combination of pressure printing and traditional printing led to this. In the photo below, you can see the pressure printing in progress for the next run, a yellow rectangle. I promise to do a post one day just about pressure printing, which is the greatest. Pressure printing allows you to do some whackadoo things. The simplest explanation is this: When printing traditionally, the amount of paper wrapped around the cylinder determines the impression, or how hard you hit the piece paper you are printing on against the printing surface in the bed of the press. See here for more information about normal printing.
When you are pressure printing, you take out some of that paper so that not much of anything will print anywhere, and then you add some paper onto the cylinder in specific places. The only places that will print now will be the areas that are pinched between the paper that you added (the white rectangle of stiff cardstock below) and the inked surface in the bed of the press (the big yellow shape.) So below I am printing a yellow rectangle.
And, look! Cause and effect. Here is the yellow rectangle, for your viewing pleasure.
We zoom in and see half a clothespin
And then after the next run. . . Kapow.
I printed all of the shapes blind (without ink.) It was slow going because I had to take care to register each of them on top of the pressure printed halftones.
That was hard to see, so here it is with some raking light, sitting next to the folio that will immediately precede it in the book:
And now, I must show you something else. Something horrible.
This is the spot at the bus stop where I left all of the folios with the colophon printed on them. Were they there when I got back?
No. No they weren’t.
Well, they had to be reprinted anyway.
Now I am going camping, even though it is raining. Over and out.
oh, no, sarah. i’m not a printer, but i have played with pressure printing a bit. i love how yellow rectangle works with the clothes pin. i don’t have the vocab for it, but the clothes pin is so interesting this way!
Sarah, are you saying that all the work you just did and explained in such an interesting way is what was lost. oh dear. That is awful if that was true. so sorry.
So, when I pressure print, I put a thin plate (like lace or textured paper) under the paper on the cylinder and ink up a blank block in the bed of the press. You’re doing something different here, and I’d like to understand it better. Do you have halftone polymers in the bed of the press with a piece of paper over them? How do you ink it up?
I am actually doing something quite similar, I was simply combining pressure printing and polymer plates. First I printed portions of my polymer plate half tone images using the pressure plate (the paper rectangle) then printed a large yellow rectangular area using the same plate by removing the polymer plates putting a big piece of adhesive lino on my base in the bed of the press. Is that more clear?
Yes, I see. Then you ran it through a third time blind to extend the impression into the white area. Thanks for explaining.
Exactly. Thank you for reading!
Sorry about losing all those prints. Someone must’ve thought it was their lucky day.