The Printing Process
At the Third & Elm Press, the printing process encompasses a range of manual and mechanical techniques based on the capabilities of the shop’s two presses. Ilse prints her work on an 19th-century Acorn hand press or a 19th-century Golding platen press. Detailed below are some of the techniques she uses, in particular her innovative process of printing a multi color print from a single block.
Operating the 19th Century Golding Platen Press
Figure 1: The Press
Figure 2: Operating the Press
Figure 3: Passing the Paper
As the press opens, the printed sheet is removed and a fresh sheet is quickly inserted. The platen closes, applying hundreds of pounds of pressure to form the impression of the block on the paper. In a smooth, continuous rhythm, Ilse passes the paper through the machine as it opens and closes. Like the operator of any moving machinery, she must remain keenly aware of the position of her hands and the working press bed.