Pressure Printing: A Painterly Approach to the Press with Sarah Bryant – Day 2
Today we had to come into Sarah’s class with two new pressure plates. We signed up for time slots so we’d all have a shot at the one press that was available.
As my slot was later in the day, I had the opportunity to create two additional plates.
I had the supreme luck to be paired with Jessica Spring, a very sweet woman and seasoned letterpress artist. She kept things humming along as we worked through our slot.
I have to admit that I’m having a hard time getting my brain wrapped around the fact that what essentially amounts to a collage can be considered a plate.
My brain says that a plate has to be something that, at the very least, you shouldn’t be able to tear. It should be made of metal or some other substantial material.
I’m sure that by day 4 of the class, my brain will come around. Stupid, slow brain.
Here are the four plates I worked with today and their resulting prints (lovely orange ink today!):
We were then given a demo of how to carve linoleum blocks. This I know how to do and I loooovvveee to carve. What I don’t know is how you use the carved block in combination with the pressure printing. We’ll get to that tomorrow.
Here are some linoleum carving tips:
- You can put linoleum in the microwave for a few seconds to heat it up and make it easier to carve.
- You can also put it in the sun to heat it up.
- When you carve a block, rotate it while you work and carve away from yourself.
- If you carve towards yourself you will probably stab yourself in the stomach and die.
Sarah also taught us how to clean the press. The way she did it isn’t how I learned it at Dartmouth’s orientation, so it was cool to get an alternative method. Here are her tips:
- Start cleaning with baby oil, which helps to break up the ink.
- Follow up with some kind of mineral spirits.
- Don’t clean rollers with your rag all mushed up. Fold it into a square, then refold it as it gets dirty. It helps your rags last longer and makes it easier to find a clean spot.