In my previous post, I mentioned booking time on the Vandercook Press at The Arm. 45 pooh baby shower invitations and envelopes were my creation that night. I wish it was as easy as booking time on the press, getting there and pressing. But, there was quite of bit of preparation involved:
- Book the press at least a week in advance and try to reserve a time slot that had at least another hour free on any of the other press in case more time is needed.
- Cut the photopolymer plates to fit on the boxcar baseplate and in a way where it will be easy to keep the print aligned when switching colors.
- Pack enough paper and envelopes to allow for 15-25% error.
- Pack the ink safely away from the paper. I used wax paper and plastic bags.
- Pack the paper in packaging and bagging that will not dent the paper, especially the corners.
- Pack a separate bag to store the finished product (if the original packaging doesn’t suffice).
- Give yourself ample time to get to the studio on time and preferably early. Traffic between 2PM-8:30PM in Williamsburg due to the BQE is INSANE!
- Clean ALL rollers on the printer. Especially when you’re working in a co-op studio. The previous printer left yellow ink on the rollers which turned the intended grey into a beige. I’m not thrilled but I’m also not unhappy with the final printed color.
- Wipe down all surfaces – again, when you’re working in a co-op studio. The previous printer also left magenta ink on the paper loader which ruined the backside of several prints and the storage box for all my final prints.
- In a perfect world 2 hours would have been enough time. At the end, it took me 3.5 hours (4 hours paid time). I was 30 minutes late due to traffic. It took me an hour and about 10 sheets of paper to get the paper properly aligned with the baseplate and an even distribution of ink on the rollers. The printing of two colors to the invitations and one color to the envelopes took an hour and 15 minutes. It took 15 minutes to pack my final product and photopolymer plates away safely and another 20 minutes to clean up.