Here is a part of a very common printer’s tool. Can you identify it? Here’s a hint: rhymes with coin fee.
We’re seeing lots of great designs come through our platemaking shop these days — so here are a few favorite letterpress cards from some of our talented platemaking customers. Have favorites of your own? Want to share your own letterpress valentine’s day work? Comment below!
1. I love you so so much greeting card by Pink Orchid Press | 2. I love you card by Blackheart Letterpress | 3. Letterpress love tags from Sweet Harvey | 4. Love you like a blank loves blank card from The Hungry Workshop | 5. Valentine’s Day Love Birds by Blush | 6. Hypno Cat by Anemone Letterpress | 7. Valentine postcards by 1Canoe2 | 8. Pigs in Love by Twin Ravens Press | 9. XOXO by Studio SloMo | 10. Love to you Valentine from The Permanent Collection
Printer and designer Ivan Gulkov first molded his passion for print in the colder climates of Siberia, Russia before turning out clean, modern collections at Pillowface Press that pay homage to the printing roots in the sunny state of California. Now, Gulkov balances the cool with the fun, with a nod to the old while creating the new. And he does it in spades.
Read on to get the full scoop.
SMOTHERED IN INK My name is Ivan Gulkov. I hail originally from the frozen wastes of Siberia, though currently reside in sunny California. PILLOWFACE PRESS is a small printmaking studio I set up to experiment with handset typography and photopolymer. Until recently, ours was one of the most traditional and conservative trades. For five hundred years, the tools and techniques of assembling type have not changed. Fonts were discreet, tangible things, you experienced on a physical level. In every letter, every space and ruler, there was a trace of the creators hand. Computers changed everything.
By the time you read this, stores will already be receiving their new 2012 albums that we have worked so hard on for the past several weeks and months. Within these pages, we have poured so much love & energy to present a DAZZLING selection of new envelope liners, new embellishments, new designs! Can’t wait to show you! To see it in person, go to the Bella Figura website & click on the link that says “Find a dealer“. Enjoy the feast for your senses!
Are your polymer plates starting to curl at the edges?
Like our skin, plates can be affected by the weather and age. When humidity levels are low, the plates can look and feel brittle. And with the passage of time, the thinner polymer on the edges of the plates are pulled towards the denser polymer text and images on the front which causes curling. There is a natural aging of the plates as they do have a limited life expectancy but we can offer a few simple steps that can hydrate and give extra life to your plates.
Printight, maker of Toyobo plates KF95 and KF152, offers these suggestions if you have a platemaking system. Boxcar also gives similar steps for the majority of you who are without such equipment.
1. Place your plate back in the washout system for one minute or immerse in water. We suggest room temperature for a quick dunking, a minute may only be necessary if your plates are severely curled.
2. Sponge off the water and place back in the drying oven of the platemaker for 5-10 minutes. We also suggest, alternatively, a hair dryer to warm the plate and make it more pliable (placing your plate in a box and blowing the hair dryer into the box will keep the warm air more contained).
3. After the plate warms and starts to uncurl, place the plate in its bag and set a heavy object on it to keep the shape.
This should help your plates relax so you can adhere them to your base for additional print runs. Some warnings for you – take care to avoid putting your hair dryer too close to the plates and be patient as warming the plates takes time. And watch that you don’t handle them too roughly after the wash and during drying so your relief images don’t chip.
Store your plates flat. One last tip, you may have to check your adhesive backing to determine if it needs to be re-applied to the back of your plate for a secure hold on your base.
If you have some storage and uncurling tips, tell us about them so we can share. It’s great when we can all learn from each other!
The sleep machine is running, unaware it is being watched. Long out of production, this Heidelberg 10 x 15 windmill letterpress still runs smoothly & precisely with the loving care it has been given over the decades. If you listen closely, you can hear it breathing & purring as ink is pressed to downy white cotton paper.
Our friend Kent from Nomadic Press sent in these gifts of a printshop game called Quad Rats. The object is not to let the boss find out you’re playing with quads so you hide them in your hand under the composing taable until tossing them quickly to see how they land – nicks facing up, standing upright or in a stack. As we quickly found out, Quad Rats is addictive so after work, we’ll be camping out and playing all night. Thank you ever so much for the lovely gifts, Kent!!