Friday, May 28, 2010

When I say I'm majoring in design production and I get to do things like make books and letterpress, people don't always know what that means. If they've been through the wedding thing, they might know letterpress means "pretty, but pricey." Some might know it as a dying art because, really, letterpresses are a thing of the past- they stopped making them years ago. As weddings and greeting cards are the only modern place where letterpressing is surviving, I decided to tailor my senior project to that genre. I'm making wedding invitations. Not just generic ones, MY wedding invitations (april 30, 2011 is the date). So not only do I get something to use for a portfolio that might possibly get me a job, I get extremely personalized wedding stuff. I have a lot more to do, but I'm trying to take pictures of the process so those closest to me know a.) why I'm exhausted after day of printing and b.) what letterpressing is.

So here we go. First, a video.

This is how something goes through the press. I printed two pieces during this.
Here's what going on.

1. put down the rollers/turn on the rollers
2. put the paper under the grippers and line it up against the guides
3. hold the paper with the left hand while turning the crank with the right
4. take the paper off the press with the left hand and put it on the drying rack (just off screen) while checking for hickeys on the plate/rollers, ink density, and even printing (which could indicate a packing fail). Any of these issues could result in stopping the press to fix the problem.
5. roll the platen back for another run (preferably using the left hand to even out where I'm building my muscles)

So when I say something with through the press X amount of times, this is what I had to X amount of times for that piece.

It's a lot of work. I have calluses on my hands, my feet are aching, and I'm only about half way through with what I plan do to. But after a couple of days, I lay down a second color then I get something cool. Like this. I present my thank you cards, a simple two color run, but things are finally coming together.
Thank you cards

and that makes me happy.