This morning I pulled the final impressions of my first 77×42 inch woodblock print using my new press… Not bad for a first attempt, actually, but I believe I can greatly improve with more practice! Registration appears to be pretty close to dead-on, thanks to paper maker Iwano Ichibei’s having rocked the paper mold lengthwise so it is very stable in the long direction! Kinda amazes me to be able to maintain such tight registration over 77 inches of paper — I had NOT expected this to be so easy and automatic at all! COOL!
Here’s a short (3.4mb) movie showing the last impression of the last print (8 blocks were printed on each of 5 sheets) — ends with some dizzying (sorry) close-ups of the print showing rather intense detail:
pulling the final impression
OK, here’s about 11 minutes of video showing the first prints coming off the large woodblock printing press I’ve built — the press bed it about 4 1/2 feet wide and 10 feet long and has a novel paper delivery humidor which can present sheets up to 4×8 feet for registering and printing by a single person (actually, I’m a married person, but I print solo 🙂
(carving and printing on new press)
The block on the press is a 4×8 foot sheet of 1/4 inch cherry plywood — easy for me to carry back and forth from the press to the carving machine (only a few feet apart) as this is to be a reduction print, so only one block will be carved, printed, and recarved through the eight printings for theimage.
The papers I’m printing are very thin and very fine Japanese Hosho made by Iwano Ichibei. These are the largest sheets Iwano-san has made in many years — 42 x 77 inches. The are also the largest sheets I’ve EVER handled! But the mechanical aids I’ve designed and built make it so easy!
I feel SOOOooo happy! It works even better than I’d hoped and seems very easy and straight forward… I have a few adjustments to make in moving the paper from the block into the printed paper humi-drawer under the press, but I think that should be a relatively simple improvement.
Considering that these are the VERY FIRST prints I’ve pulled from the press (and that my skill in handling the blocks, sheets, inks, brushes, drawers, etc. can only improve with practice), these first attempts make me feel optimistic! My only regrets at the moment are that I’m no longer young, strong, and/or slender– I’ll have to work on those a bit (LOL)