And so it begins! It is always intimidating for me to get back on the press in earnest after a long time, especially a press I am not entirely familiar with. Today I hopped on the Vandercook SP-15 at Ink Spot Press and slowly got to know its quirks. The rollers move around a lot, even when they should be locked. The paper guide occasionally catches the paper a sixteenth of an inch away from where it should be if I’m not watching (which will make registration impossible on a second run.) It makes a lot (a lot!) of noise. But I am acclimated now and ready for more.
I fought a long fight today against uneven and sloppy inking. It is so important to get it right, especially on the first run on a new book. I lost plenty of sheets to this struggle and will have to use them as proofs.
Gross! look at the ink squeezing out all over the place! Look at the weird lines of lighter and darker coverage inside the letterforms! I show this to you with humility. It took much longer than I like to admit to correct it all and involved setting and resetting the roller height, cleaning ink off of parts of the press, as well as a healthy dose of scowling and sighing. Until, finally,
Below, the Vandercook SP-15 in all it’s glory, plate ready to go in the bed, black ink on the rollers. Press run #1 for the new book.