Sunday, May 23, 2010

Lino-Cut Printing!

Time for a little experimentation using our big MV-50 cylinder letterpress to print a handcut linoleum block.
The image came from a photo I took just a few miles from my house. The old farmall tractor was parked in front of and old barn and, although it's a little on the texturally complex side, I was happy with the print. It's been quite a while since I've done any lino cuts.
The cut is inked by hand to print a small edition of 15 pieces and the press cycled for each print.

The paper is Cranes Lettra cotton which takes our oil base ink very nicely even without wetting the paper.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Printmakers Show

We have just finished printing an invitation for a printmakers art show featuring an engraving taken directly from a 1600's book. The engraving of a printers workshop is perfect for the show titled "The Printer's Devil". In the picture you can see the pressman "pulling the devil's tail" a term describing the pull of the impression lever.

Working from a photo of the original print that is hundreds of years old, we created our own modern day photoengraving. Of course we printed the image by letterpress much as it was done in the days before computers. The plate was set up in our Heidelberg windmill letterpress and, with some black ink added, we were off & running.

For the text portion of the invitation we took advantage of some more "modern" technology, now known as digital letterpress, and made a photopolymer plate to print the lettering in a blackletter style to match the time period.

Who would have thought technology used hudreds of years ago would still be treasured in our modern electronic age. The art of Letterpress lives on and that makes us happy.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Letterpress in Printmaking

Adding a simple texture as a background for a business card can turn something plain into something special. This particular business card was for a printmaking professor who wanted a natural texture that reflected their work. We used an image of a paper wasp nest debossed into heavy 100% cotton printmaking paper. Black type was letterpress printed on top of the texture completing the miniature work of art. The result was perfect for a fellow printmaker.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Hot Metal Typecasting

Today was session II of the Binghamton University Graphic Arts field trip. We spent lots of time & had some fun casting our names in typemetal. Who dosen't like to see their name in print?!

We also set up the Pearl 7 x 11 foot treadle press and everyone gave it a whirl printing this years "mind your P's & Q's" piece. I'm still sorting out all those mixed up lower case p,q,b's & d's.

Letterpress printing may not be for everyone, but I hope it gave you some insight into the the world of printing as it was before computers existed.

Even though I love my computer & couldn't live without it, there still is a lot to be said about working with your hands to produce a fine quality printed piece.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Field Trip!

Letterpress Lives On!

Today I got a break from the routine & hosted a field trip from Binghamton University Graphic Arts Class. We got to cast some type and print a little broadside on the Pearl No. 11 Letterpress.

Each student got a turn on the foot powered antique machine printing a piece we titled "Mind Your P's & Q's". Even Professor Mike Wesko put the petal to the metal to print a few pieces.

We also did a little demo of the Heidelberg Windmill and printed something every student can put to practical use - some drink coasters.

I hope everyone had a little fun & learned something new about the art of letterpress. I'm looking forward to the second session later this week!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Thank You Valerie Zehl!

A Big Thank You to Valerie Zehl, writer extraodinaire, at the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin for picking up my story on snow crystal photography. Our interview was a pleasure and it was so interesting watching how a story is put together by a professional writer. Like any true journalist, she makes it look easy when it's really alot of hard work. Thanks Valerie!

Check the posts for this February to see some of the details on snow crystals.

We have thousands of images to review that will be made into Glicee prints (digital prints on canvas or watercolour paper). Other will be used for letterpress and serigraphic prints. If you are interested to see the results, drop me an email and we will put you on our mailing list.

Snow Day!

It's an actual snow day today with school closings and the snow piling up outside. So why am I not outside with my snow camera? Temperatures are above 20 degrees which is much to warm to collect crystal without melting. So I thought I'd take the time to put up a few more pictures from the past few days.

Beautiful symetrical crystals are the exception and not the rule. It's like finding a needle in a haystack. Conditions have to be just right and even then it's a challenge.

People ask if I "photoshop" my pictures. The backgrounds sometimes have scratches in the glass microscope plates and I do remove them with photoshop. Here I have left a scratch in. Otherwise, like all photography, it's all about the lighting. Scroll down to see some examples.