Letter Press workshop today. Letterpress is a very strait forward form of relief printing, originally used to print books and the likes more recently it’s been recognised for it’s artistic applications. Type-Artists such as Alan Kitching and Anthony Burrill are fond users of the medium.
We were using a model FAG 405 Control proofing press, presses like these are now a rare commodity, all types of printing press are victims of digital convergence.
We had a simple process, firstly as a group we decided upon a composition of two letters we wanted to print. The once decided we headed to the printing studio and started making the correct colour ink. These are rubber based inks mixed with a binder. We started with different opacities of blue before adding red to the last two runs.
The ink is applied on the roller, an the letter piece is secured in place (back to front) with metal blocks known as ‘furniture’, adjustable furniture blocks that require an alan key to widen/shrink are called ‘quoins’. Paper is secured on a roller and is manually pulled over the letterforms, transferring the ink across. This is then repeated with careful adjusting of the letter forms and the paper so that the letter lands in the correct place.