In the Makerspace, we have 3D printed several roller printing presses. Printmaking was a powerful political tool during the era of the Mexican Revolution. During the Makerspace session, you will have the opportunity to create your own plates and make prints using the printing presses and the intaglio printing process.
1. Prepare the paper
Before you etch your plate, first prepare the paper that you’ll print on later. It’s important that you use paper that can soak up the ink from the scratches on the plate.
Use some of the provided water and a brush to wet the paper on both sides. Let it soak in a while before you use it for printing.
2. Make your plate
To etch your image, use the drypoint needle to make deep scratches into the inner layer of the carton — the plastic/aluminum layer. The paper backing underneath will later soak up ink and transfer it onto your print paper. The scratches are perfect if you can feel them when you move your finger over them.
3. Ink the plate
Use a gloved finger to spread the ink onto your plate. Make sure to get the ink into all of the carved areas.
4. Wipe the plate
Use paper towels to wipe all excess paint off of the plate, while also pressing remaining ink into the scratches on the plate.
5. Press your plate!
On the bed of the press, place your inked plate, layer your wet paper over top, then your wool felt. Roll all materials through the press, and you should have your first print!