Wednesday, 12 September 2007


So that temporary setback I had, well it's still in effect. Only maybe not all is lost as I will describe.

I reached out to the Briar Press community for help and found a few comments to fix my issue with light impressions. One particularly helpful person from the Book Arts Guild of Richmond Hill suggested I drop by the Vanderburgh House so the members can have a go at my Adana.

Once there, I was half relieved that it wasn't just me who agreed that my press was giving light and uneven impressions. The other half of me was disappointed because it's like a buying a (really expensive) blender that doesn't blend but only chops. Thomas, however, was persistent and patient with my press. He turned the screws at the back of the platen by a quarter and pressed down on the lever. He repeated this after each impression to get it even on all corners of the form. Eventually we started to see even impressions. But they were still light. It was the deep bite I was longing for.

Some things I learned from this helpful session:
A) The lever needs to make contact with the ledge when being pulled down. There is a kind of spring action that happens when this contact is made and a simultaneous extra bit of pressure is transferred onto the bed. A few things need to be done to make this happen. 1. I need more muscle on me. 2. I need to place the press on a low table so that I can grip the lever and pull it all the way down. 3. It'd be nice to bolt the press on something so that it doesn't topple on over when the lever comes down.
B) My Adana may not be equipped to give that deep impression. Presses like the Chandler & Price give flawless deep bites because they're so damn heavy themselves.
C) There are fans of kiss impressions. The problem with deep impressions is that it renders the other side of the paper useless by giving it an embossing texture. Whereas the kiss impression is basically what I've been getting from the Adana. Barely there impressions that leave the other side of the paper flat and smooth. What I have to come to terms with is that if you don't look closely enough or touch the print, it will look like offset printing which defeats the purpose of letterpress.

So continues my quest. Do I abandon my press or embrace it?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Anonymous comments (meaning comments without valid URL's) will not be published.