My base for the Pearl arrived from Boxcar today, and I printed some of these bookmarks to hand out at our party at the studio tonight. Though I prefer working with my metal and wood type, I can see why people design with Illustrator and use polymer plates on their presses. Designing for polymer does give you more flexibility with type faces and sizes. And it’s faster–stick it on the base and print. Then wipe it off, peel it off the base, and you’re finished. Of course, the press still needs to be cleaned, which takes time.
Having two presses helps me problem solve. I was struggling with one plate that had a rather large illustration that should have printed black ink. Since the Pearl doesn’t give much of an impression, that section wasn’t printing. So I actually put the chase in the Pearl and let the rollers ink it up — then moved the chase to the proof press, to which I can apply more pressure. Ta da! Problem solved, and I didn’t have to hand-ink it.
Next week, I need to figure out if I can actually teach someone else to do this. I’ve had many requests for a workshop as there are not many people who do letterpress printing in our area. Even though I’ve been working at this for nearly a year, I still feel like a beginner.
I enjoyed seeing old and new friends at the party tonight, but it’s been a crazy busy week with two other groups I volunteer with. My introverted self is looking forward to some quiet time in the studio–after a trip to the mountains for some hiking and talking to the fall leaves.