Over the weekend I made my first large relief print on the Glen Alps press. These 24″ x 30″ prints typically take me over an hour when printing by hand with a baren. I still spent quite a bit of time inking up the plate, but I was able to print it in a matter of minutes.
I printed this first test on the rough side of a piece of dry Masa paper and as you can see in the pictures below, I still need to tune the process. There are two problems. The first is that I’m not getting full ink transfer and this is causing a lot of white speckles in the blacks. I suspect this is because I am using a soft rubber Whelan Press blanket instead of a stiff wool blanket. With the soft rubber blanket, I need to keep the pressure low to prevent the blanket from ripping the paper on the edges of the relief plate. The second problem is that the embossing is so deep that the paper is wrinkling. I think I can fix both problems by putting a piece of stiff card stock between the blanket and the paper.