Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Forest City Prints

The Idea

When I began my "Tree" series for the Arts Project (running November 1 - November 12), I decided I wanted to try something different for the show that I hadn't done before which is to do some high-end prints of my work.

I'm really fascinating by printmaking in general and think my line style suits it. I really like the look of Letterpress printing, so I did some research of who in the area could do this for me.

Letterpress printing was for years the normal form of printing text from the mid-15th to the 19th century. It's relief printing using a "type-high bed", in which a reversed, raised surface is inked then pressed onto a sheet of paper to obtain a positive right-reading image. It provides a really beautiful, hand-made quality to things. 

I found just who I was looking for with Vincent Perez at Everlovin' Press in Kingston, Ontario. Letterpress printing is a laborious process that requires someone well-schooled in the technique, and Vincent is a print expert who oversaw the Dawson Printshop at NSCAD University (which has one of the largest collections of moveable type in Canada).

The image I selected to get prints made from is this one below, of a Hackberry tree on Colborne St., which was voted the "People's Favourite Tree" in the 2010 Amazing Tree Quest contest.

And, since the trees of London provided the inspiration for the series, I thought I could also give back to them a bit by donating some proceeds from the print sales towards ReForest London, a great non-profit organization that's doing its best to look after the trees of our community.

The Process

The Original Scanned Image. For the print I thought I would like to make it look a little like a tourism poster to promote London (also known as the Forest City), so hand-lettered some text as a separate file to be dropped in.
I sent a high-rez digital file (1200 DPI) to Vincent, which he then made a plate from.
He then applies ink to the plate, and runs the paper through the press. For the colours, Vincent works from Pantone colours which I supplied. I used Lagoon Blue ( Pantone 16-5418) and Grass Green (Pantone 15-6437).
For the 2-colour prints (black and one-colour), the paper must pass through the press twice - one for the colour background, one for the black foreground. Paper is 130 lb Coronado (beautiful heavy stuff).
The paper is then cut to size (12 x 16 in this case).
Look at that perfect registration! The prints then just to need to dry, and they're all set.

The Result

I did a few different variations of the print including one of the tree with no text. Here's what the finished ones look like. I have them all packaged up individually in acid-free sleeves and mat boards. They are $35.00 each with $5.00 going towards ReForest London.





1 comment:

Alan David Doane said...

Gorgeous work, Diana!