Yes, it’s been a while. I’ve been swamped! Do you ever feel like you have so much to do and when the major stuff is out of the way all you want to do is relax and do nothing but decompress? Well that was me on Saturday. But now most all the packages are shipped to family & friends for the holidays, all invitations are done for the rest of the month and I even printed my Christmas cards too!
But first thing’s first, it was O & D’s wedding Saturday!!! Congratulations O & D!!!
Saturday afternoon there was a knock on the door. I was still in my PJ’s, see I told you I did nothing! Knock again and what should appear? A beautiful bouquet of roses from O & D as a thank you.
How lovely & how sweet!!! Right? They even match her wedding colors, burgundy & ivory. She must have planned that. I really love my family back in England. They’re all so very nice. O & D will be cruising on their honeymoon through the Caribbean. Looking at about six inches of snow in my back yard, our first snow in the Pacific Northwest, the Caribbean sounds nice, warm, tropical and refreshing right now! O & D, here is wishing you many happy years together. May your wedding day be the start of a long adventure.
Last week I worked very hard on completing my first letterpress project for my local fire department.
(The diamond hash marks are meant to just give an idea as they’re meant to be pressed with no ink. The calligraphy done by yours truly.)
I really thought I would have had time to play and test out my letterpress before promising someone some invites, but the repairing and restoring took much longer than expected, or rather, I just had a lot less free time than I expected. Thank you Mr. R, I couldn’t have met my deadline without your help.
(I’ll do a post later on cleaning & restoring the press.)
With Mr. R’s recommendation, I ended up splitting the two polymer plates I ordered from Boxcar Press into three parts.
One part the upper diamond plate pattern,
second part the lower diamond plate pattern
and third the remaining polymer plate printed in silver ink. Cutting the diamond plate pattern into three parts and running each part separately through the press helped give a better, although still not the best, impression.
However, it also made it that much longer to finish. It’s almost like doing three ink runs!!!! That gets really pricey from what I’ve seen from letterpress artists & vendors and now I know why.
I’ve learned that with my letterpress printer, a Kelsey 6×10, doesn’t do so well in giving a deep impression with a large surface area.
These little tabletop presses just can’t apply 2,000 pounds of pressure like the motorized, floor standing presses. But it did a decent job. I’ve read that some older letterpress printers say the presses weren’t meant to give deep impressions, but many artists will continue to produce letterpress this way because that’s what the public wants and they will pay extra to get it.
On the final day of printing I printed the last plate in silver ink. Getting the correct roller height took some maneuvering. I used the trick I learned from Boxcar Press about taping the press rails so that the rollers are just barely touching.
However, it’s just like me to not realize straight away that I failed to tape them all the way down the rails, thus causing an uneven impression.
No matter how much padding I added or took away, the printing still looked thicker on one end of the words “Annual” & “Recognition”. I had 20 left to print and then I saw it! The rollers were inking too much of my plate because I failed to apply the tape all the way down the rails! Oy Vey!
But I wasn’t about to reprint.
Especially since the fire department is only being charged for the cost of materials. You can’t tell in these photos really, but trust me, it was a bit uneven.
Until I have my press, its name is Clark by the way, comfortable, mounted to its painted counter top, all press supplies organized and sitting in its permanent location, I’m holding off on doing anymore press work. But it was fun to do and I’m glad I got to help the fire department one more time.
There’s rumor of snow Wednesday! It’s cold here and this weekends snow has iced over. Once again, have fun in the Carribean O & D! I’m so envious!