Wednesday, March 16, 2011

"Printers" in my shop - old school at its best!

A short while back, James (1st name only) wrote to ask about the virtues of various printers I fancied, with the implied assumption that my work was printed out in a digital format. Sometimes a picture really is worth 1,000 words, so here are the "printers" in use at CSULB.
This old gal is our Fuchs & Lang lithographic press, one of 5 litho presses in the shop. If you look closely, you can see the tiny altar Brent Bond made to honor Alois Senefelder, located to the left of the sign-up sheets. Students traditionally leave offerings on it before printing editions...Nissin instant noodle bowls or chocolate Pocky biscuit sticks seem the most efficacious among them, although I'd have thought bratwurst, braunschweiger & St. Pauli Girl more to the taste of the gent in question. Mind you, I'm not advocating drinking alcohol or eating greasy animal by-products in the shop.

Moving along, you can see our Charles Brand litho press, & note that each press station pretty much has its own small sink, making the changing of water for keeping the stones wet an easy chore.


In an orderly phalanx are our letterpress options, which we use mainly for printing type-high relief blocks. While we do have some lead & wooden type faces, they are mainly display fonts - not terribly suited to setting prose or poetry. There are 2 identical Vandercook proofing presses, one much adored "Showcard" press and an ancient beast of questionable parentage.

















The big Takach press, stands shining-fairly-new in front of a vintage Charles Brand etching press. We also have 2 hotplates on this side of the shop, handy when wiping etching plates or cutting linoleum.

Back in the early Pleistocene, when I was a student at the University of Iowa, we used to (horrors) re-heat food on these things. Unlike the hotplates in the CSULB studios, those Iowa versions had a thick murky layer of ink covering them. I like to think that all those tasty carcinogens added a little special flavor to a slice of pizza. (We did use tin foil...)

The wee motorized Charles Brand etching press was one I hauled up the hill from a since defunct program called something like "Technology Education," & another old soul we call "the big wheel press," which was formerly known as the "star wheel press," is located in front of it. The newer of the 2 hotplates (a Takach) is in this photo. More pixs to follow after I get my "Keynote" presentation on screenprinting made for class on Friday.

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