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8002Re: [PPLetterpress] bringing the cost of plates down

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  • alex brooks
    Jun 28, 2007
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      This doesn't answer your literal question, but it answers the spirit
      of your question.

      If they were my students i'd suggest they try woodcuts instead of PP
      to create images. College kids are time rich and cash poor. A $30 set
      of woodcutting tools and some 3/4" plywood [which can be scrounged or
      bought cheaply] and they're set. And they're making art with their
      hands - it's immediate, tactile, & cheap.

      One of my biggest gripes with printmakers these days: valuing
      computer work over hand work. PP is great for text, job printing,
      etc. - for when you're making enough money to justify the cost. If
      your students are going to be professional job printers or book
      printers then it makes sense to go this route. But if you want to
      make images on the cheap - i'd start thinking elsewhere. If they're
      going to be artists they better get used to being poor and
      resourceful. I think it's part of my job as an instructor to prepare
      them for being poor and how to deal with it.

      How about a tint block. One solid block that gets inked up. Use
      makeready to create the image. Amos Kennedy uses this technique to
      great effect. I've made images just by building up scotch tape on the
      tympan. All you need is some chipboard, paper, tape, glue. Another
      printmaker I know buys vinyl placemats from the goodwill to make his
      plates from, cuts them with an xacto knife. How about high density
      foam and xacto knives - totally free! The Purgatory Pie Press did a
      whole series of prints using duct tape for the relief image.

      If they want to use text, i'd go with used metal type. Definitely
      cheaper than PP. If you're resourceful you can get it for free. I've
      got a whole house full of type that was given freely. There are vast
      amounts of stymie and park avenue that no one wants. Have your
      students do some leg work, ask around to old timey printers. Setting
      type by hand is free, and your students will learn the basics of
      typography, and accordingly their digital typography will improve.

      It wouldn't hurt to think outside the boxcar... um, i mean, box.

      lexington kentucky
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