Meet the Machines

Drawing is the largest part of Printer & Press, yet I regard the technology behind making my artwork tangible with great respect.  I also enjoy being able to operate each machine myself, and not having to outsource any part of my production.  I like to think of my machines as artistic in a way, whirring away, or watching the bed roll through the cylinders, creating my imagery on paper.  Original artwork is important, but printmaking, creating an image multiple times, even with a digital printers, I see as just as important.  There is just something about the work that goes into each print that makes it just as enjoyable to me as drawing with pen and ink or pencil. When making and selling prints, I try to use the best quality materials.  I sell my archival prints in editions, both etchings and large scale illustrations.  My hand-embellished prints are open edition.

TABLE-TOP ETCHING PRESS: Each of mPrinting Pressy machines has a story of how I acquired it, my table-top etching press being the most adventurous.  Before graduating from CCS I made sure I pulled as many prints as I could because I didn’t know when I would have the chance again.  I knew I had to buy my own press because I like to be self sufficient, so when I saw my press pop up on the Printmaker’s Unite! Facebook page I knew it was the one fore me.  However, the press was located in Brooklyn, New York, while I was in Traverse City, Michigan.  Luckily, my wonderful mom was already going to be in Washington D.C. the next week, and agreed to drive up to Brooklyn in her old safari van to pick it up for me.  Sadly, I did not get to go on the crazy drive through Manhattan in said safari van, but I ended up with the perfect sized press for my needs, and an entertaining story.

Epson Printer

EPSON SURE-COLOR P600: Before my first official art fair, I was scheduled to exhibit in the Digital category, with no way to make prints of my work.  I needed to buy a large scale digital printer, and enlisted the help of my photographer friend who recommended the Sure-Color p600.  So I, living in a cabin in the woods in Northern Michigan, was delivered this huge piece of machinery, well at least the largest I had ever been expected to operate on my own, with a deadline.  After one night of completely failing to print, long phone-calls to my photographer friend, and using the wrong side of the paper, the next night I finally succeeded in operating my printer.  Then I realized I had to adjust the colors in every file I was preparing to print, which is why I truly think that digital printing should be considered an art.  Now I love being able to print such high quality prints, right out of the comfort of my home, with my own skills.

HP Printer

HP INKJET: This small little powerhouse of a printer came free with my laptop four years ago, and since then it has become essential to my success.  I use this digital printer to print ALL of my cards and small prints to be hand-embellished.  When I first started doing detailed pen and ink drawings, I was doing all of my originals on actual kraft paper, which is not the ideal surface for pen even if I liked the aesthetic.  One of my professors encouraged me to print my work directly onto kraft paper and then to hand-embellish the white, becoming the special factor of each card. So I went out to get kraft paper card-stock and thousands of cards later my little  printer is still running like new.  Someday I imagine I will get another printer for my cards, but for now this is just the one for the job.

BUMPODO ETCHING PRESS: I acquired this wonderful Bumpodo table-top etching press in Feburary 2017.  It’s quite a bit bigger than my original etching press, but that is a good thing for when I want to print larger etchings.  The difficulty with this press is that it is 350 pounds of solid steel…so not very easy to move.  It took three strong men to get the press into the van, and four plus little old me, to get the press out of the van and into my basement studio.  Being a printmaker is quite an adventure sometimes! By the way that is my 100 pound goldendoodle Yogi for scale, both dog and press are huge!