Today's postings

  1. [Baren 31434] Re: Baren Digest (old) V36 #3570 ("Marilynn Smith")
  2. [Baren 31435] Re: nipping press (Barbara Mason)
  3. [Baren 31436] RE: nipping press ("Maria Arango")
  4. [Baren 31437] Re: nipping press (Charles Morgan)
  5. [Baren 31438] Re: Baren Digest (old) V36 #3570 ("Maria Arango")
  6. [Baren 31439] Baren Member blogs: Update Notification (Blog Manager)
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Message 1
From: "Marilynn Smith"
Date: Sun, 6 Aug 2006 09:28:21 -0700
Subject: [Baren 31434] Re: Baren Digest (old) V36 #3570
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Maria as always you are amazing. Good art is not found just in galleries.
I think it is wonderfully amazing to know the people who buy your art. I
love the idea of knowing which person has something of mine hanging in their
home. Selling direct can also be educational as you can explain your work
and they can truly understand what you are doing. I have been in places
(can't call them galleries when they are ignorant) that do not know print
making processes.
I have chosen not to travel to festivals, just too much time away from home
and all that hard hard work of setting up and taking down and also the
frustration of "criticism". I admire your tenacity and can not think that
you are lesser as an artist for choosing the festival route to sell your
Also, not sure which article you were referring to. I read the one about
the artist selling online and the gallery person saying that one should see
the art in person before buying. Interesting since galleries often
represent artists based on slides, not on seeing and holding the work. I
have found that often slides can show poor work to an advantage and good
work to a disadvantage. Just my experience. So I admire anyone who can
avoid the gallery people and sell direct, anywhere.
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Message 2
From: Barbara Mason
Date: Mon, 7 Aug 2006 10:10:08 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: [Baren 31435] Re: nipping press
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I suggest a piece of mat board on top of the will give you a good even impression without dropping down into the carved areas like a blanket might.
Best to you,
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Message 3
From: "Maria Arango"
Date: Mon, 7 Aug 2006 10:31:36 -0700
Subject: [Baren 31436] RE: nipping press
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David, you will have to anchor very securely with bolts in order for you to
crank hard enough to get a good impression. I got one of them off eBay a
while back and found it rather tough to get a dark enough impression, here
are some things that help:

You will need to proof and use bits of newsprint or tape to raise low spots.
Linoleum works better than wood...crank hard!
My "sandwich" looks like this, top to bottom:

-blotters to control impression, usually just one unless you want some

Good luck with it. With some ingenuity you might want to convert to a
hydraulic press, just need a cheap hydraulic jack from the auto-parts store.
Ask Charles!


Maria Arango
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Message 4
From: Charles Morgan
Date: Mon, 07 Aug 2006 11:22:05 -0700
Subject: [Baren 31437] Re: nipping press
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At 02:15 AM 07/08/2006, you wrote:
>Here's another newbie question! I just bought a cast-iron nipping press
>off eBay. Assuming that there has to be more in the "press sandwich" than
>just lino/wood block and paper, what should I put in there -- would a felt
>sheet or a thin rubber mat help with the impression at all?

I have used nipping presses for several years for printing woodblock and
foilographs, and I know of a local artist who also uses one for lino work.
I think experimentation is the real key.

I use a large piece of plexiglass on the very bottom. I have it ruled off
in one inch squares, using a permanent felt marker on the bottom side. This
helps with simple hand registration. My plexiglass sheet is just long
enough (15 inches) to fit between the uprights, but is much wider than the
platen of the press. That way I can tape down registration pins beyond the
edge of the platen when I need precise registration.

I like a bit of embossing and heavier (cruder) lines in my prints. So I
always print with at least one blanket of thin felt from the fabric store,
but sometimes I use more. I also use a piece of very flexible, clear
plastic table cloth material (again from the fabric store) to keep the
blanket clean. So, here is my typical sandwich, from the bottom up:

plexiglass bottom plate
inked printing plate (wood block, foilograph plate, lino ...)
paper (dry or damp, depending on what I am doing)
plastic table cloth
felt blanket(s)

I load everything onto the plexiglass, then slide the whole works into the
press. I have my presses sitting on rubber mats of the sort used for stair
treads or hall runners. I do not have my presses bolted down. I find that
after screwing it up tight, I can brace one hand against one of the
uprights and push against the pull of my other hand on the handle of the press.

Carefully check the platen of your press. In many cases, these old presses
have badly corroded platens, or bits of
glue and other crud stuck to them. Clean the platen of all debris ...
acetone with good ventilation is often effective. If it is corroded in
places, then use a good piece of plexiglass on top of your sandwich to get
a smooth pressure surface.

As Barbara suggests, a piece of mat board is more suitable than felts if
you do not want any embossing. The matboard has just enough "give" to
compensate for some irregularities in the block, but not so much as to
deeply emboss the paper. The danger is that the mat board will eventually
become slightly embossed itself, and if not placed in precisely the right
place, you will get uneveness in your printing as a result. Of course one
solution is to use a fresh piece of mat board for every print, which is a
bit expensive. Another solution is to use pin registration so the block and
matboard can be precisely positioned with respect to each other every time.

If your wood block is very uneven, then you need to carefully flatten it
before you start printing, or you will have no end of grief. I would expect
lino to be pretty flat, unless your pre-prep has made hollows. My
foilograph plates are generally made on plexiglass, and I have no trouble
with flatness. If the plate does not print evenly, you can make some
adjustments by placing shims (thin paper, masking tape, etc.) on
appropriate places on the back of your plate. In some cases the problem is
your inking technique or the texture of the paper, and using pin
registration you can just re-ink the block and print it again. Or you may
find that after a pass through the press, a swipe or two with a baren of
some sort (try a large furniture glide attached to a large drawer pull) on
the light spots will be the easiest route. Or you may find the easiest
solution is an immediate touch up with a small brush, as each print comes
out of the press.

Since you already have the nipping press, play around with it for a while.
As Maria suggests, you can always make a jack press if you are not happy
with the nipping press. The jack press works in much the same way, but you
can get much higher pressures with a hydraulic jack.

Cheers ...... Charles
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Message 5
From: "Maria Arango"
Date: Mon, 7 Aug 2006 20:19:12 -0700
Subject: [Baren 31438] Re: Baren Digest (old) V36 #3570
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Well, thanks, but I didn't exactly "avoid" galleries when I first began my
life as a full-time artist; they avoided me! :-) Truthfully, I showed in
quite a few and the results were never there for me so I directed my
energies to the general public. I probably just wasn't patient enough.

Now when I sell something online or through a gallery I really miss that
connection that I get when someone walks into my booth. I dread being in
public but once I start talking about woodcuts...well, I get quite carried

As far as succeeding in the art festival world, all it really takes is
persistence, a strong back, thick skin, a sense of adventure and some stuff
in your booth. Sometimes I think if my art was shiny and frilly (and
sparkled in the sun) I would be making more money. It really all boils down
to shoving your work in front of someone who's in a buying mood; there is
not much merit that I attribute to myself or my art, particularly.

But it IS LOADS OF FUN!!!!

Maria Arango
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Message 6
From: Blog Manager
Date: 8 Aug 2006 03:55:06 -0000
Subject: [Baren 31439] Baren Member blogs: Update Notification
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This is an automatic update message being sent to [Baren] by the forum blog software.

The following new entries were found on the listed printmaker's websites during the past 24 hours. (22 sites checked, five minutes before midnight Eastern time)


Site Name: m.Lee Fine Art

Author: m.Lee
Item: Blessings

Author: m.Lee
Item: Finding my Voice


Site Name: The Itinerant Artist

Author: Diane Cutter


[Baren] members: if you have a printmaking blog (or a website with a published ATOM feed), and wish it to be included in this daily checklist, please write to the Baren Blog Manager at:

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