Wednesday, 3 February 2010

show and tell

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 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.


Laura said...

OO! So cool! I am very intrigued by the Showcard. That looks really fun to use. Can't wait to see what else you can do with it!

Amanda said...

Oh I love it! I need to take a trip over to Don Black's. Looks like you're going have loads of fun with this one.

Sandi said...

it's beautiful!! You'll have to do classes with this press now..HintHint! Happy playing.

David said...

Hi Tanya!
Great blog by the way... been reading for awhile. You can get a press blanket that lays over your paper that can give you a nice impression and it doesn't move when the rollers touch it because one side has a more course, almost canvas texture. I had a Vandercook model 0 which looks almost the same and with much finesse, produced some fine results using press board and these press blankets to move my paper closer to the form. Cheers - David

snap + tumble said...

Laura - It's loads of fun. I'll start to post some projects as soon as I can.

Amanda - Just be prepared when you go to Don's - that's all I have to say about that :)

Sandi - Ha! Let me get more familiar with the press first! :)

David - Thanks for the tips! Getting press blankets and boards are on the top of my list!

Daniella said...

So exciting! Jealous that you have another (in a good way of course, lol) Have fun experimenting!

jax said...

Never seen a Showcard before, what a great looking press! I love my little Adana Flat Bed for exactly the same reasons! Did manage a long print run but got darn fed up with hand inking by the end of it :) Had the same problem with my impression but some second hand litho blanket worked a treat and have even used vinyl cushion flooring which worked wonders! (and protects my wood type :)

Sonnet and Mayhem said...

The new press looks amazing and it's great that you're getting to put all of that amazing wood type to work in a new way! Very fun!

snap + tumble said...

Daniella - thx, will do!

jax - vinyl cushion flooring? i love hearing about other people's method!

Victoria - oh much fun to be had!

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