Thursday, October 7, 2010

Printing with the new Dikerson Combination Press

About a month ago, I got a call from my Printmaking Professor from UWRF, Mary Barret. I hadn't seen Mary in at least 20 years, so I was happy, if not a bit baffled, with the call. She indicated to me that she was shutting down her studio in downtown St. Paul, and if I was interested in her press, an electric Dikerson Combination Press. I of course said certainly, but at the same time silently wondered just how I was going to pay for something like a full sized printing press. Mary then explained that she was giving it to me, because she knew I'd put it to use.

Well, what can a person say to that, other than "Thank you!"?

So, in the spirit of putting the new-to-me Dikerson (it's actually as old as I am...) to good use, I took up where I had left off on my latest reduction print. Interesting enough, this print has given me nothing but fits of frustration ever since I started it, including a cracked block. This happened not once, but twice. I "solved" the problem by gluing another block onto the back (Thanks to my friend Vince), but now have a double-thick, double heavy printing block. I was seriously thinking about throwing the towel in on it completely.

The press has made the whole process a whole site easier, letting me concentrate my efforts on getting the colours I want and on carving the tiny details of the foliage surrounding the fisherman. here's a short video I shot this morning, showing the steps in printing:

Like I said, the press makes things sooo much easier. A couple more colour layers, and we'll be good to go. So far, so good:

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