Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Issues printing using an etching press and 1/4 inch woodblock prints. Solved!

I had some problems using the etching press at Genesee Center For the Arts. Printing worked well for small prints but for large not so good. I had some bounce and to much pressure and paper was pushing off the print. So after much investigation and web research from those with the same issues, this is what I have come up.
Basically a "chase" for my plates! I will hold them all together with Blue masking tape so that I can use with all my other plates also.

So here is my idea. I will make a standard "chase" for my woodblocks to go on the bed of the press. I will use filler blocks (furniture) to fill the gap where the block is not filling the "hole".

Well my trial run on Saturday worked out really well. The only issue that I had was that I tried to standardize the "chase" by using a filler piece of MDF between the horizontal rails. Not good. I ended up with paper embossing thats really noticeable. Going to cut some custom pieces to fit two of my whale blocks. Need to noodle that some more.

Chase on the bed of the press ready to get the inked block. Note that the rubber offset mat is under the roll and on top of the Chase. Thus no hopping on and off the plate and it can not push the paper off the plate.

Hey that worked well but the filler piece really embossed the paper with a noticeable line.

So with some experimentation I got it right. So with the custom vertical rails made for each block and the addition of the thinnest felt blanket. Perfect impression... but still got some paper creep and got some marks on the back side of the paper. Hmmm.

So I held the rubber sheet and the felt up in the air as the bed moved under the rollers and bingo! No marks on the last part of the paper to move under the rollers. 

This will make doing an edition of 50 prints MUCH easier and with not much erasing of bad ink marks needed. 

So hanging in my studio drying are the 12 prints that I got done on Monday.

Video of the powered etching press at Genesee Center For the Arts that I'm using here in Rochester, NY.