Saturday, March 14, 2009

Ledbetter Process, Step 4


Didn't take any new pictures of the actual debossing (see previous post) and final trim, but here are the finished pieces:

Buy them at the Artist Series store!

Labels: ,

Friday, March 13, 2009

Ledbetter Process, Step 3 pt. 2

Still printing.

Putting the black down after an overnight drying. Went on much easier.

We had to lay the black on fairly heavy to cover the gold where the overprint, so the debossing and trim has yet another day to go. We did the make-ready for the debossing on some test prints (there's some ink smudging, which is exactly why we need to wait to finish the actual prints) so you can get an idea of what the technique is. It will look much nicer on the soft, cotton paper of the real print.

Labels: ,

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Ledbetter Process, Step 3

The Printing.

Cutting the paper.

Inking up the press for the gold detail on the card.

Printing the gold.

Gold layer for the print.

After printing the gold for both pieces, the press gets washed out, and after a little break the black gets inked up.

Black plate for the card goes on.

Printed cards.

The gold on the print wasn't dry enough to put down the black layer, so it waits for tomorrow, as well as the blind debossing. The card will be scored and trimmed and totally finished other than hand numbering and signing by the artist.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Ledbetter Process, Step 2

Making the plates.

We are now using photopolymer to make the plates. It is a light sensitive material that is exposed and processed much the same way as the screens used for silk-screening. One nice bonus is that no chemicals or solvents are used during the wash-out, just plain old tap water, which makes it a little kinder to the environment.

Cutting the photopolymer down to fit the negatives.

Exposing the photopolymer sheets.
Can you see Mr. Bunny in reverse?
Exposed for three minutes.
Another set of plates going in for a suntan.

Wash out. This is the fun part. The parts of the photopolymer material that are exposed to light harden, and the rest of the material stays soft. The soft parts will be washed away by warm water. Washout takes from 2 to 3 minutes at about 95 degrees (the temp was a little high when I snapped the pic). Mr. Bunny can just barely be made out in this one.

Two of the large plates for the print taking a bath.

Next the plates need to be rinsed off and blotted dry, then on to the drying rack. This is the longest part of the process, taking about 15 to 20 minutes. There's Mr. Bunny, this is one of the images for the card.

After the plates dry, they need to come back to room temp, and then they are post-exposed for about 5 minutes. Here is the finished Mr. Bunny plate.

And finally, we decided to throw one of the plates on the press to see how they turned out and to test the gold ink. This part of the card will actually be printed in black.

Next step, the printing!

Labels: ,

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Ledbetter Process, Step 1

First step, get the negatives made. This has all three layers of the print and the two layers of the card.

Next, making the plates...

Labels: ,

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

The Joe Ledbetter Project

No, it's not the name of a new Super Group. This is the exciting super secret project mentioned in the previous post: an Artist Series print and card set by Joe Ledbetter; a great artist, really nice guy, and (we'd like to think) friend of LP's. Joe created one of the very first card designs for the Artist Series, probably the one that put us on the map and in people's brains. We're super-duper happy to be working with him again (it's been too long) especially on such a cool project.
Here are the details:

The Card

•Limited to 500 hand-numbered cards
•Two-color letterpress printed
•Lettra 100% cotton printmaking paper
•Accompanied by sky blue envelopes
•Five cards/envelopes per pack
•All pre-ordered packs come with one card signed by the artist!

The Print

•8x10 inches
•Two-color letterpress printed + blind debossed detailing
•Lettra 100% cotton printmaking paper
•Signed/numbered edition of 75

No sneak peeks yet for these, but check back soon for a process pictorial and ordering information.

Labels: ,