Quite printeresting.

Printing can get a bit complicated. I know that for most people it’s just a matter of clicking ‘print’ on a dialog box on a computer, but it’s not like that for me and Richard Lawrence. Richard has been printing my ‘Holloway’ prints; the ones that have just gone on sale in the Zmas Boutique. These are done on a 1965 Heidelberg platen press; the exact same machine that we used to print the 277 copies of the first edition of Holloway.
We had a few problems with ink getting into places where it shouldn’t be, and so Richard is, as I write, fixing the problem…
“I am getting there. I am also learning more things about my Heidelberg. A frisket made of beermat supplemented by strips of draft excluder all held together with copious amounts of masking tape has nearly done it. What I have learned is that the ink smearing is due to the sheet being drawn to the block by the vacuum as the press opens. This explains the one little bit of the press that I never really understood before. There are holes in the roller tracks that blow air into the void between the printing surface and the paper as the machine opens. For whatever reason I never previously seen fit to connect these up. Now I just need to find a short piece of flexible piping.
I found a piece of pipe at about 5.25pm. It’s silicone and from my local tropical fish supplier. Helps a bit, but slowing the press just as it opens (careful use of clutch) does the most to help.”

Here’s a bad photo of the press that I took when we were printing Wage Packet covers the other week. Not exactly an Epson XP666, is it?

9th November 2014