Meet the Vandercook

Some of you have requested more letterpress and here it is!
I meant to bring my camera to my class but forgot so iPhone pics will have to do for now.
Here's the Vandercook press. We have two types of presses that we are using in class. I've used the Vandercook the most because I'm scared of the other press. We'll meet that one next week though.

I'm still learning so I can't remember all the correct terminology but I'll do my best to explain the process. First thing you have to do is set your type. There are huge drawers of metal type and you just pick out what you want. It takes forever. I've only set 2 words at a time so, I can't imagine setting the type for a whole book!

After you set your type, then you lock it up in the base of the press. You can see here how I have that clear block surrounding by wood blocks. The wood blocks are called furniture. I am running an experiment in this pic and trying to print with acrylic stamps instead of type. It totally worked and I'm super pumped about it.

IMG_0400I'm excited because it is really expensive to buy graphic blocks to print with. They are called ornaments and are very, very expensive! This is a cheap way to print and get pretty much the same effect. Anyway, so you build your furniture up and make sure that everything is really tight.

Then you have to mix your ink. I mixed up this really fun blue and inked the press.

IMG_0399Then you print! The Vandercook does have a motorized roller, but you have to print by hand. You put the paper in the top, hold on to it and then roll out the press with your right arm. This is a very slow way to print. But the results are quite beautiful. Here are the tags I printed. Next week I'm going to print "To" and "From" on them in red. Then I'll punch a hole, put in a piece of ribbon and sell it on Etsy! I'm also working on Christmas cards next week too!



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