Norton’s Cove Production Line Printing Today

I started out this morning with a print list of 285 cards, 184 mini-prints, and 230 bookmarks.
I started laying out my printing plates, and decided that it was time to retire the designs above.

That’s the biggest cull I’ve ever made at one time: 9 card and mini designs and a bookmark too.
I’m taking suggestions for new designs… let me know what you’d like to see added!

So now I’m down to a print list of 136 cards, 72 minis, and 177 bookmarks.

I had some paper cut to size already, so no need for that today.
I spray each piece of paper, cut to size for each item, on both sides and lay them in a damp box to absorb the moisture, becoming more supple and resistant to sticking on to the oil based ink.
My printing list is an excel file with formulas counting how many cards I have on hand and how many I need to print to stock levels up.  That’s next to my ink slab, which is just a piece of glass for mixing colours and  rolling the ink out.  The printing plates are at far right, arranged alphabetically.

Here I’m rolling the ink out flat on the slab.
I’m rolling yellow and red side by side, called a rainbow roll.
The ink is then transferred from the rubber brayer to the printing plate.  Several passes are made for even coverage.  
The inked printing plate is placed on the press bed, where there are registration marks on cardboard under a sheet of plexi-glass.  

I can print 9 designs at a time, whether cards, minis, or bookmarks.
A piece of damp paper is carefully placed on each inked printing plate.

A full load!
Bookmarks

Brown paper is placed on top of the bookmarks, which are bleed prints: the ink bleeds to the edge of the paper, and therefore need more protection from inky messes.  Brown paper is laid over the entire bed to protect the blankets from ink.

The felt blankets are laid on top.  These blankets cushion the paper over the plates, and help in the embossing process.

Frederick is shown here rolling the press bed from one side to the other, the large centre roller pressing through the blankets, transferring the ink to the paper.

The impressions are then laid on the drying rack for at least an overnight period.  The oil based ink takes a while to dry.
Tomorrow they’ll be ready to package for market.

I’ll be printing all week, so feel free to stop in to see how it’s done in person!

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