TECHNICAL | PRINTING MATERIALS
I use a Takach-Garfield electric lithographic press, with a 56” x 32” bed. It was produced in January 1978, upon my order, and was the sixth press made at that company. Decades later, I am still thrilled to have that wonderful piece of machinery in my studio.
Paper is a matter of personal preference. I always use archival paper, which never degrades. I most often use a French mold-made 100% cotton rag, acid-free paper, either Rives BFK, Arches Cover or Revere. All papers have 2 deckle edges in the original size of 22” x 30”. The Rives BFK has a smooth, bright white surface. The Arches Cover is cold-pressed, which gives it a slightly textured surface and it has a warmer white color than the Rives. Revere has the smoothest surface.
Lithographic inks are ordered from different manufactures and are all of the highest quality. They are oil based – made from either linseed oil varnish or burnt plate oil, and pigments. Unlike commercial offset lithography, where printing speed is important, inks for hand printing contain no drier. Silkscreen inks are Daler Rowney System 3 water based inks.
I use ball-grained aluminum lithographic plates, 25-1/2” x 36”. I have two aluminum framed silkscreens, which are each 31” x 34”.
There are special materials for drawing on lithographic plates. A regular pencil won’t do. I use two sources for pencils – Korns and Stones. All drawing on the aluminum plate has to be done in black. Color is applied after processing the plate, in the printing stage. So, for each color in the printed image, you need a separately drawn plate. The images for the silkscreens are applied photographically.