Re: [PPLetterpress] Re: engraver's test press
- Gerald, Lisa, et al. -
I learned how to print collotypes from Kent Kirby and have done numerous editions of books and broadsides with many collotypes numbering from twenty or so copies to well over one hundred copies using a Vandercook, all with excellent results --- one broadside was a true duotone, utilizing two different hand rollers (soft and hard) with two different viscosity inks (loose and stiff).
Collotypes are tricky; printing them is much like blowing bubble gum bubbles all day long.
Logan Elm Press
From: Gerald Lange
Sent: Monday, August 04, 2008 2:01 AM
Subject: Re: [PPLetterpress] Re: engraver's test press
Well, yes, that has been my experience. You can't be switching out
multiple sets of rollers and multiple inks on a Vandercook for one
print. Simple as that. And that is what is required. You would have to
dispense with the press's roller system altogether. A bit cumbersome to
adequately hand ink on a Vandercook. Which is not a problem so much as
the cylinder pressure is. Essentially, its single line pressure is
inadequate and its singular direction force will tend to rip the
collotype matrix off of its base. Not so good. You simply can't get the
kind of uniform pressure required as from an iron hand platen press.
The Kirby book basically sucks. Or blows. You pick. I can't image how
you would be able to produce a collotype based solely on that book. Or
trust the information given in it. We came to the conclusion that Kirby
had not done multiples and was basically one of those grant track folks.
There has been previous information posted here regarding the better
This is a very difficult process. I have done it (as part of the
editioning of a book), and am very appreciative of the experience (there
is none better for informing one about the variances of the printing
process), but I can state with some certainty, I would never ever do it
Lisa Davidson wrote:
> Hi, Gerald,[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
> Interesting -- so the hand inking required for an iron hand press is
> actually more exact and reliable than Vandercook mechanical
> inking . . . . surprising. The Kent Kirby book is very much about
> hand inking too.
> On Aug 3, 2008, at 9:25 PM, Gerald Lange wrote:
>> Yes, you are correct in regard to the Vandercook definition.
>> Though Wilson (and others) have suggested the Vandercook as a possible
>> collotype press, it is not. The better choice is an actual collotype
>> press or an iron hand press. Extreme control over ink viscosity and
>> roller technique is crucial for the production of collotypes and the
>> Vandercook just isn't up for it.
>>> In a book about collotype (Wilson), I just read that an engraver's
>> proof press is ideal for
>>> collotype if you don't have the rubber-blanket type of press. I see
>> that Vandercook calls its
>>> offerings "engravers' test presses," but I think they probably mean
>> presses for photo-
>>> engravers, not hand engravers. Because for hand engraving I think
>> you would need far
>>> more pressure than a V. could give. Am I right about this? But
>> then Wilson wrote his book
>>> well into the Vandercook era, and he must have known what they
>> called themselves, so I
>>> can't tell.
>>> Thank you,