28 November 2007

Presses of Note!

Has anyone seen the new ReadyMade? The cover article is about how to make a tabletop letterpress using a bottle jack, threaded rods, plywood, and bungees. The article says it's based on a design by printmaker Charles Morgan. I find this idea truly fascinating, because I would love to see it in action, and because it's so similar to a papermaking press design I found long ago in The Papermaker's Companion by Helen Hiebert:

Two different functions, but same concept. I still love this idea, though... I think...however...

I want to like ReadyMade, because their hearts seem to be in the right place, but there's some inconsistency in their articles. I often find that the projects seem glazed over and confusing. In the same issue there's an article about our carbon footprints with the food we buy but then on the last page there's an ad for Walmart with a house completely covered in lighted Christmas ornaments that says "With great holiday decorations at unbeatable prices, we've got two words for you: backup generator."

I dunno ReadyMade, what *are* you saying????


m.Lee said...

I know how you feel about ReadyMade. I think a lot of these pro handmade blogs, magazines and websites are a bit split. They seem to say one thing and do another at times. Very inconsistent.

But being all about handmade is so gosh darn cool and hip!

loaded hips press said...

Yeah, mlee isn't it?
I can't honestly imagine someone with no letterpress experience jumping in and making this press just to make Christmas cards... and how much easier is it to crank that bottle jack than to just use a barren and handprint?

m.Lee said...

Sooo... I went and read the article. It is interested but what they are doing isn't letterpress. It is poly plate lithography!

loaded hips press said...

Whoa you're right. I didn't even catch that.... and they say

"Note: This press is better suited for line art... For larger or more complicated projects contact a fine letterpress printer...."

wha??? How's that handmade? Why go through the trouble to make this press even??

m.Lee said...

Not only that but they suggest getting your photoshop created graphic put onto a plate via some company.

Not only can this be done yourself with a laser printer but you can draw directly on a plate with a sharpie and many other drawing tools and they will print. Most people may not have expensive laser printers but they should have a sharpie around!

I swear they call it letterpress because currently letterpress is the coolest printmaking form, overtaking silkscreening. Lithography is not. Who needs accuracy when hip factor is involved?

Or maybe the people at the magazine just don't know squat about printmaking. Print nerds unite to set them straight!