25 January 2007
Working a Press
Today was my press day at my local printshop, Zea Mays. Things ended up well, but only after I worked out some kinks. The beautiful Takach press I used (above) did not like my idea of making a plastic kento on my plates. The kento was too thick, and when I ran it through the press it wrinkled my paper as well as threatened to ruin the blanket. I had applied my plastic kento with superglue, so getting them off was difficult; I cracked the corner off one of the plates. I then made new guides out of masking tape, just thick enough to tap the paper against.
Rather than do the red plate and then the black plate, I inked both plates at once and then ran them in quick succession for each print. I used water-based etching ink from Akua Color. Below are the two plates inked and ready to run through the press. You can see that I traced the outline of the woman's shape onto the plate. I did this because I wanted to wipe all the ink from outside the shape so there wouldn't be any plate tone on the white paper.
And here's the result (sorry, the photo is very washed out):
I have one more pass to do, putting down a strong black for the woman's face. I wanted to save that for last, for fear that the black ink would get all over everything.