Tuesday, April 19, 2011

My archnemisis has been slayed!

Warning: Non-printmakers this will bore you to tears.

Monotypes with Akua are printed using dry Arches 88, making registration a snap. I've always been weak with registration, but I'm now confident I can properly register a print--or at least a monotype--thanks to Ron Pokrasso and his recent workshop. My previous method of creating a template on a sheet of newsprint and placing it under the press bed plexi was barely working for me. Press bed plexi is typically scratched to hell and it's often hard to make out any template marks--and damp paper that's expanded in the water bath doesn't help matters.

First step: Buy registration grids from Takach Press to install on WPA's press beds. I simply cut them to size and put them on the press bed. For the large press I slipped it under the plexi, and for the small one, I covered the press bed with the grid and covered with clear contact paper.

The grid method is simple. Center your paper in the middle of the grid and catch one end of the paper with the roller. Pull to make sure it's caught sufficiently. On the back of your paper, indicate the center lines by drawing a hash mark on the three sides indicating the center grid lines (your 4th side is under the roller. That's OK. Leave it.). Next, flip your paper back up on the roller and center your plate in the middle of the grid. Now gently roll the paper over your plate. On the back of your paper and with a pencil (be sure to clear your plate), indicate where your plate resides on the grid so if you need to rework your plate, you have a record of where it goes for perfect registration (this is shown in the picture below but the pencil marks are hard to see). It sounds simple but it's very effective. In Ron's class we made sure to catch the paper with the press every time we checked the image or needed to print an additional plate. We only rolled off when we knew for sure we were done at the press for the time being. The three hash marks will get your paper back in it's location on the press bed if needed, and your plate location notes on the back of the paper will tell you exactly where you need to put your plate.

Hope this helps those of you like me that have been registration challenged!

No comments: