My long awaited printing of dragonfly cards is finally happening! I've had about enough of the snow so these dragonflies are a welcome emblem of summer breezes. I carved the block a while ago but haven't had the opportunity to print them up until now.
When I lay out all of my prints from an edition in the drying rack, I get this satisfying sensation of achievement. Look at them all! The process of printing can be and usually is a complicated one. By using the term "make ready" printers sum up the laborious process of mixing ink, preparing paper, locking up a block or type, aligning gauge pins or guides, packing or unpacking a tympan, calibrating rollers or bed heights, etc. The list has the potential to go on and on. Even after "make ready" you can still (and usually do) run into printing issues that need troubleshooting throughout the run. But when all of the prints are gathered there to dry, you can bask in the light of satisfaction at a job well done!
Here is a dragonfly freshly printed on the VABC's old C&P. It's letting its wings dry before it takes flight to the drying rack to join its kin.
I'm also working on a line of cards involving a favorite quote from Charles Lamb. Here's a worst case scenario for "make ready". I thought my block image and text would play well together but the first proof proved me wrong. The text lay in an awkward place on the image where horizontal lines obscured the text and made it difficult to read. After all the other set up, I didn't have time to rearrange the type so I had to pull some proofs on tracing paper, go home, revise my design, and come back another day. I did not leave the shop feeling particularly good that day.
But, my hard work paid off because the new design worked well. I was lucky enough that no one else needed the press and my registration wasn't disturbed. I had saved my ink from that day so all I had to do was walk in, correct my type placement, lock up, and print! It's a great feeling when you finally get it right and let the flywheel just go!
It will really be fun to see them all packaged and tidy. Stay tuned!