A couple of weeks ago, I visited Don Black to say hello and to pick up a few items. None of which, included a press. Just until I was about to leave, Craig (Don's son) said that he wanted to show me something. The smile on his face meant he knew just exactly how I was going to react when he presented a Showcard press. It didn't take me very long to decide what a great find this was. There it sat, so unassuming, so small and flat, so perfect...so mine.
The last time I used a Showcard was at Kozo Studio. It definitely made an impression on me then because I've always wanted one ever since. I have fond memories of locking cuts into the bed and rolling an inked brayer over them. The ease and freedom to switch up cuts and type was a nice change from using the much larger models like the Vandercook. This of course also means less clean up time with no ink disk, rollers or cylinders to spend elbow grease on.
I don't plan to use this press for large runs. But I am eager to introduce my wood type to it and have them start playing with each other. My experiments so far resulted in kiss impressions, which is totally fine with me, as long as the colour transfers well. And though there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of control over the kind of print you get, it's even more of a pleasant surprise to end up with what you've got. Kind of like a Polaroid photo. The inconsistency is probably because of the hand-inking. Or, hopefully, with more practice I'll know just how much ink and pressure to apply to get even impressions from print 1 to 10. Once I've covered that, then registration will be the next thing to grasp. Till then, it's all play.
With a footprint of only about 2.5 ft x 1 ft, and a bed size of 8" x 12", the press is almost unnoticeable. I think of it as my darling press. So now, I'm up to three presses. I'm going to have to get a bigger place soon. Or head straight for the exit after I've done my shopping at Don's.
Wednesday, 3 February 2010