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13305Re: [PPLetterpress] Re: Balancing impression and inking

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  • Robert E Blesse
    Nov 30, 2012
      This is essential advice from two master printers. I learned the same thing from my mentor, Ken Carpenter, who taught me to print on our Columbian hand press. The first thing students new to letterpress printing do when their first sheet comes of the press is look at the inking. They must learn to flip the sheet over and look at the impression first, ignoring the inking, which should always be on the light side. The "master" inking sheet is also essential. When we get our sheet as close to perfection as we can, we lay it down next to the sheets we'll be stacking during printing so we can look back and forth and detect in changes in ink density. It's always amazing to me how quickly students become perfectionists when it comes to inking and impression.

      Robert E. Blesse
      Director, The Black Rock Press
      Department of Art/224
      University of Nevada, Reno
      Reno, NV 89557
      775.682.5630 - office
      775.233.2546 - mobile
      775.784-6655 - fax

      From: Robin Price <rprice@...<mailto:rprice@...>>
      Reply-To: PPLetterpress <PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com<mailto:PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com>>
      Date: Fri, 30 Nov 2012 08:15:04 -0800
      To: PPLetterpress <PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com<mailto:PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com>>
      Subject: [PPLetterpress] Re: Balancing impression and inking

      Gerald's advice here -- to proceed slowly on working up to correct impression and inking -- was one of the most important things I learned from him at USC Fine Arts Press. To add (again, learned from Gerald): it's best to *lead* with impression, i.e., only after you've obtained desired impression should you add enough ink to get correct coverage. You'll likely over-ink if you do otherwise. That all-important lupe / magnifying glass on the press feed board (placed out of the way) will definitely speed up your decision-making process on inking, both during start-up and periodically throughout edition. One more direct-from-GL tip which I've kept in the 20-odd years since: establish a *master* sheet for inking for every press run, one that you've deemed darn-near-perfect, set it aside in a nearby spot & mark it as such, and use that as your most reliable *check* for inking throughout the run. It's especially important on long runs, and with color, as your eye might not be sensitive enough to catch a gradual change over time. I grab the master inking sheet every few (5-10) impressions for a quick check, and if I can't decide immediately I grab the lupe.

      I wish I was printing right now!

      Robin Price, Printer & Publisher http://www.robinpricepublisher.com/ phone 860-344-8644
      http://www.indiegogo.com/letpress-apprentice?a=1147117 / http://www.facebook.com/LetterpressApprenticeship / Brittany's blog http://letterpressapprentice.tumblr.com
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