Thursday, August 15, 2019

First etchings off my own press

Having come into a modest amount of money recently, I decided to spend some of it on something I've wanted for years and years but have never had the discretionary cash to spend. It's a small intaglio press, for printing etchings, dry-points, mezzotints and the like.

It's made by an Italian company called RGM, and I got it via Amazon. It's very small compared with the presses I used at polytech, but it works well enough for my purposes. The bed is 270mm wide by about 450mm long, so realistically I couldn't print anything much bigger than A4, but that's no great problem as all my intaglio work to date has been quite small. The bed is just a piece of 3mm steel, so getting a longer one if need be wouldn't be any problem, though I'd need a new felt to fit, and that would probably cost a lot more than the steel.

What I am going to have to do in pretty short order is organise a dedicated workspace for it. It really needs to be clamped down to the workbench, as there's not enough weight in the press itself to keep it from moving around under the back-pressure of the crank.

Here's my first trials, using a couple of old plates, and printed on some offcuts of 360gsm Fabriano I nabbed out of the waste-paper bin at school.

I'm pretty happy with them, and with the press.

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