A litte bit of press maintenance

January is blistering by and there is some progress on the wood engraving portfolio. Holly finished her design for the title page and interior, and it called for halftone plates as opposed to tipped in illustrations, which means several hundred more passes on the press before this job is finished. It will be interesting to see the quality of the plate done for the wood block that broke on the press. I made a high resolution (1200 dpi) scan of a crisp proof I took long before the block began to decay, then spent an entire day cleaning up the image on Photoshop at tremendous magnification, especially tedious on the lined background. In the end, I saved some work by scanning a slightly darker proof and used a patch help an area that was too light. While I was at it, I eliminated some old scratches and cracks. Since what I’m printing is a digital rendering of the original, I’m not so fussed about its ‘integrity’. If the collection proves popular, original proofs of ‘The Reader’ will be something of a prize, since I only managed to print a dozen or so before the block cracked.
Meanwhile, I’ve been looking at my press and acknowledging that it is high time for a thorough cleaning, which means a partial dismantling. Definitely after the Portfolio…. Definitely!

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