Tag Archives: printing presses

Compromise, Cat And Cheese

12 Jun

Wash Bday 1

The text on the little lino blocks I’m cutting goes through changes at each stage of the process, partly because of the materials I’m using, from pencil, to ink and brush, to tracing transfer, to carving with cutting tools. But along the way I make adjustments, a curvier bit here, a shorter bit there.

The brush gives me very flowing, curvy marks while the cutting tools give me something more jagged. So the final cut that will be printed is a process of development and compromise.

cheesy cat

And a parcel arrived from The Welsh Cheese Company today. It’s not easy going out shopping at the moment and many smaller food producers are struggling – the supermarkets can weather the storm. So Husb and I have been shopping for some of our food online, which we had never done before, not from the big conglomerates though but from the independent sector. This is our third lockdown parcel from The Welsh Cheese Company, it’s insanely delicious stuff. Sparta Puss was very interested, not in the cheese, it’s the box she fancies.

And an added bonus is that they use wool to protect the goods – and I just happen to need some blankets for my printing press. How cool is that?

blanket

Here’s my press, now I have a blanket, I can try it out.

press 1

Pulling The Columbian

22 Nov

columbian

I had a very busy Sunday pulling some woodcut prints down at Swansea Print Workshop. I used the beautiful old Columbian press, an antique dating from the 1850s, when Queen Victoria was on the British throne. How many prints have been pulled off this press? How many hands have pulled the lever?

It’s not only lovely to use, but also lovely to look at, with beautiful cast iron decoration, brass inlays and large, smooth wooden handles. Invented by American George Clymer around 1813, it took over from the Stanhope Press and allowed a whole newspaper page to be printed in one pull. It didn’t sell well in the USA so Clymer moved to Britain a few years later and established a very successful business manufacturing and supplying the Columbians across Britain and Europe. Many of them, like this one, have a bald eagle as a counterweight.

 

Here’s a video of it in action:

A friend who is an antique furniture expert went into raptures about the patina on the wooden handle and said to never ever clean and polish it. That sort of patina is only acquired with age and enhances the value of the piece.

The Columbian: The Video!

17 Jul

holo 2

Yes! The sublime Columbian in action at Swansea Print Workshop. Here’s a short video of this gorgeous antique Victorian printing press. I’ve been using it all week, printing the first colour of a set of 8 reduction linocut prints. I’ll cut the second layer away from the blocks early next week and then get back to the lovely Columbian to print colour 2. Enjoy it. I do.

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