slightly wonky

Pronto print tutorial
January 15, 2011, 10:10 am
Filed under: printmaking | Tags: , , , , , ,

This week, I went to the studio of printmaker Nancy Diessner.  She was kind enough to agree to give me a tutorial on pronto printing [a.k.a. polyester plate lithography].  It sounds exotic, but it is much less intimidating than true lithography.  I’ll try to summarize it as best as I understand…marks can be made on  thin polyester sheets either by hand (with a sharpie, for example), or by a laser printer/copier.  So, it has the ability to print hand drawn images, or photographic images.  Then, the sheet (plate) is saturated with a mixture of water and gum arabic.  The oil based ink is then rolled on the plate, as is typically done…but the water magically repels the ink from the unmarked areas, and the marked areas accept the ink.  So interesting!  These can either be printed by hand or on a press.  Luckily, Nancy has a beautiful press, so that we could print some of them by press.  The ones printed by hand have a different feel, as they are lighter and irregular.

So, below are the prints that we made!  They are a bit simple and crude…but there are amazing things that can be done with this type of printmaking…so don’t let these early experiments put you off…

This was printed on the press:

See the lovely emboss?

This was printed by hand:

See how it is lighter, and there is no emboss mark?

This was also hand printed…you can see where I rubbed with a bone folder:

This is more “photographic”, but is clearly different than a photo.  Please don’t ask me why my child refuses to smile for photographs:

The last one was done on the press:

up close:

See?  Wasn’t all that neat?  These are so rudimentary, so don’t let that put you off the process.  I hope to get the materials so that I can do this at home (without a press, of course!).  My printmaking classes start THIS WEEK, so I am SUPER excited for what’s to come!

Besides the pronto plates, here is a hodge podge of other stuff from the week…a linoleum print:


Besides printmaking, my son and I created a contemporary apartment tower for his chutes and ladders people…note the lovely cantilevers and expansive views!  If Fallingwater were tall and made of cardboard…:

And for those of you not in the Northeast…this is what the first blizzard of 2011 looked like:

These photos were taken at 9am…and the “snow emergency” was through 7pm…EGADS!  Eventually, the snow in the seat of the chair was taller than the armrests.  Sigh…is it spring yet?  My ever optimistic friend, KP, was waxing poetic about the lovely blanket of powdery goodness…I was peering out feeling trapped!  Perhaps if it was good snowball snow, that would have made up for it.  🙂


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