Thursday, April 12, 2012

Abe's school projects

In the last post, I was talking about the items Abe has made at school this year. So I guess now I can actually tell you about the projects. They were pretty cool to see made.
First up, there is a green Georgie print. Abe made this for his history class using the historical graphic arts process.  I drew out a Georgie for him. Then at school, he made a copy or two and cut them out to have the shapes for the various strengths of color. He was printing in green using 100% and then a thinner screen that made a lighter color of the same green. After the cutting out, he used a graphic arts camera to make a film of the image. The film of the image was then used to make a metal printing plate for the press. The printing was done on a Heidelberg press using two colors, black and green. Abe pointed out that this press was designed in the same city of Germany (Heidlelberg) where the Homo Heidelbergensis was found. Then he got to run the press and made a whole bunch of prints!
Georgie print
Another project is a red Arthur. The teachers were having a hard time explaining the process of screen printing so they did a project and everyone got to print a picture. They picked something really simple and drew it on a piece of mylar using a sharpie that they used for the photo emulsion. Photo emulsion is pretty interesting. You put the mylar with the dark spots from the sharpie on the screen that is covered in photo emulsion. Then you shine UV on the screen. The emulsion on the spots covered by the sharpie on the mylar do not harden, but the rest of it does. So when the emulsion is hard, you pull off the mylar and rinse of the screen. All but the spots where the UV light hit are hard. So when you squee-gee the ink over the screen, it only goes through where you had drawn the dark spots.  Anyways, they did this project over the course of an afternoon so everyone would understand the processes. There are only a few of these prints because it wasn’t a real project and everyone needed to print something.
Arthur print
The bookmarks were a cool project I got to work on. This was a letterpress project. I drew up three images for bookmarks because that is how many would fit on the printing press plate. Abe scanned my drawings and in Adobe Illustrator used live trace to turn them into vector graphics which means they can be resized to any size. Then in InDesign he replaced the horrible text I had drawn with a brush on the Book Love bookmark. This was another photo emulsion plate but for the printing press, so it made a plastic plate that we get to keep. His instructor and classmates were worried that the fine lines I had drawn wouldn’t print well, particularly in the squid, but they turned out pretty good. Then he just had to cut them up on a paper cutter. The one we have at home is sharper and more accurate than the ones he has at school it seems.
3 letterpress bookmarks
Another screen printing project was to make a 2-color t-shirt. I again drew an image for Abe, this time of a platypus Cupid. Abe scanned and formatted and added text on the computer and made a screen for screen printing. At this point, the process is getting pretty redundant.
2 colors of tshirts
Mylar sheet to create the screen
Mylar sheet with hearts
Finally, he made a notepad. He created the images in Illustrator and laid out the pages in InDeisgn, as you would expect. But this was totally his design and is basically fan art for Gravity’s Rainbow. Then he used an offset printer in black to print two shades of black, 100% and 30%. After printing, he had to count the stacks, add the cardboard backing, and glue the binding. Then he cut and trimmed and they were done.
Gravity's Rainbow notepad
So if you make it to a convention we are at this year, we will have these items. Otherwise, if one sounds particularly interesting, you can shoot us an email or and we will post the item on Etsy. I hope people enjoy these items as much as we have.