Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Ink Bearers

I'm not altogether happy with this setup but it got me through the job. I followed the instructions over on the Poco website for using a brass bar snugged into a slot on one side of my boxcar base. Unfortunately, the roller I have, which cost quite a lot, wouldn't span all the way to the other side of the base so I used double stick tape and combined two leading strips and just laid them on the boxcar base alongside of the polymer plate. I had trouble with the strip sticking to the tacky roller and lifting up so I devised a little masking tape sleeve into which the end of the strip would slip which reduced but didn't completely eliminate the problem. I stuck a shorter piece of masking tape face to face with a longer piece so I had a non sticky tunnel with sticky ends to tape it in place

My first inking strip was shorter and hard to handle since the whole thing would get inky. I made a second longer strip that hangs off the end of the base resulting in a clean "handle" for removing the strip before running the press. By the end of the printing session, the leading had a slight bend at the point where the boxcar base ends so that may become a problem. I'm thinking of trying to cast a wide roller myself.

Here's my apprentice (aka husband) taking the print out of the registration guides. If you look closely you might see the clear mylar "frisket" drooping below his left hand.

I saw a recipe for composition roller material in a post on Briar Press and tried it out. I made a lovely flat plate (for monoprinting), so now, once I get over the memory of the smell, I hope to try to make a roller. Just haven't figured out how to do the handle. One idea was to use an old ball bearing wooden roller and cast around that. (Lynn Starun)


  1. Ah, I see. Very good.

    Some people recommend including "roller bearers" (just solid stripes) along each side of their polymer plate. Then you can cut them off and reuse them for future plates.

    Of course, they'll print on your frisket, but maybe that's ok.

  2. Hmm, maybe that's really the simplest way to go! The little masking tape tunnel got inky and printed on the frisket. I had trouble trusting the frisket but towards the end I was less anxious and let the ink build up. I want a more flat material for the frisket or some sort of frame. The mylar was a little curly and relaxed.

  3. The more I think of it printing on the frisket would be good for other reasons--it would speed up the process. My husband was helping me and we inked up the Sigwalt for the type part of the invitation and we had to work out a sort of choreography or movement. I would remove the ink bearers and then pull out the print and he would replace the bearers while I was printing on the Sigwalt. This was efficient because I was dampening the paper.