DIY printing plates

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Before the big move, I picked up a couple linoleum printing blocks at an art store in Madison. The printing plates I order from Owosso are expensive and getting pricier all the time, so I thought carving my own would be a great way to save a little money on simpler designs.

One of the components of my new collection happened to be perfectly suited to hand carving, so last week I sat on my porch with my Dremel and went at it! Below is the before and after—can’t wait to see how they print!

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Cellular prints

New listing in the 622 press shop that’s a bit off the beaten path: a series of intaglio prints that I think look like cells under a microscope.

I created each of these unique prints in college using completely unconventional processes. For each plate (the prints above use three separate plates), I dissolved copier toner in alcohol, then dripped or poured it onto the clean, heated aluminum. Heating the aluminum made the alcohol dry faster than the toner could move, leaving the shapes you see above. To get this image to print, I then painted a thin coat of silicone over the whole plate, which was resisted in the areas where the toner had dried. Once the plate had dried and the toner was washed off, the ink stuck to the raw aluminum only and I printed these!

I love this process because it employs relatively cheap everyday materials and really is something anyone could do. Plus, both the aluminum and the toner were recycled (respectively from old newspaper printing plates and the last remnants left in the cartridge that usually get thrown away) Each print is approximately 5″ square and signed on the back — and available for purchase here!

In the beginning . . .

. . . there was this book:

You could say I jumped into letterpress head first. I made this limited edition book in a book arts class in college. The majority of it was printed within one week — why? Because I am a crazy person. I had no idea how much time and work it would take, but I’m still in love with the results.

I have 9 of these books left, on sale here.