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Pres­sure Print­ing: A Painterly Approach to the Press with Sarah Bryant – Day 2

Sarah Bryant

This is what Sarah looks like when you don’t come to class prepared

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!):

Pressure printing plate

Pressure printing plate #1 – a pressure plate that was cut and reassembled into a second pressure plate

Pressure prints

The print on the bottom is a ghost print

Pressure printing plate

Pressure printing plate #2 – cut pieces of paper shopping bag

Pressure prints

The print on the right is a ghost print

Pressure printing plate

Pressure printing plate #3 – layers cut up junk mail envelopes

Pressure prints

The print on the bottom right is a ghost print

Pressure printing plate

Pressure printing plate #4 – layers cut up Paper Source catalogs

Pressure prints

The print on the bottom right is a ghost print

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.

Carving a linoleum block

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.

4 Responses to “Pres­sure Print­ing: A Painterly Approach to the Press with Sarah Bryant – Day 2”

By Tracy - 15 May 2013 Reply

Noooooooooooooo. Never use mineral spirits except in very small quantities. They are extremely damaging to your health and the environment. Instead use plain ordinary vegetable oil to clean up your ink. This works for your glass plate, your brayer and the print plate. Follow up with a spray of washing detergent dissolved in water. This is all you need and much much better for your health.

By Elissa - 15 May 2013 Reply

Tracy –

The mineral spirits were meant to be a final cleaning after the baby oil did the majority of the work. We didn’t use much of it. The safety concern is a point well made.

Elissa

By Laura - 15 May 2013 Reply

Very cool prints! Looks like a lot of fun!

By Elissa - 15 May 2013 Reply

Laura –

It is fun! And because your plate is type high, you can combine letterpress with your imagery. There’s lots of exciting potential there.

Elissa

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