November 17, 2011

Letterpress Printing 101

I'm so familiar with the hows and whys of what I do, but it's occurred to me that I don't really talk much about this here. It was my original intention, but as you know—I get distracted.
So, back on point, I present to you The Sounds and Sights of My Printing Press, part deux.

This beautiful press is not as old as the previous post's (Chandler & Price), but what it lacks in age, it makes up for in sheer weight. This is my Vandercook Printing Press (click). Originally designed to be a 'proof press', it has become the workhorse of what I'll call the Letterpress Revival. At a smooth 2,500 pounds, this is not for the weak of heart.

For those that have never seen this process in action, you can see here that I don't exactly click on, "print". Each color requires a separate plate, therefore set-up and its own ink. Above is a quick look at a second color/image being added to this simple, two-color poster that I've created. By hand. While the inking drum is motorized (it spreads the ink out evenly throughout the rollers), it is my right arm that drives this baby. You can see here how each sheet of paper is fed (by my left hand) into the press, and my right arm rolls up, and then rolls down to simultaneous ink/press. Voilá! Magic. So, for say, an edition of 100, if this is to be 2 colors, I would feed my paper through the press 200 times. The speed and accuracy is determined by me (and as you can see, I'm not that fast) and my feeding skills. This is, what I call, the human touch. This latest sentiment can be yours for a song by clicking here. xo Victoria
(ps. sorry if the movie doesn't play on your phone)

1 comment:

Taste wine said...

Very nice article. I will wait next one.

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