Why you should take this class
After two hours with Dafi Kühne, live from his studio in Switzerland, even experienced letterpress printers will gain a new understanding of the mechanics of their cylinder press. Stop guessing and learn how to approach makeready—the process of preparing your press to print well—with intention. Once you understand the rules, you too can work with unorthodox materials in utterly original ways!
What you’ll learn
Makeready is a fine balance of plate height, pressure, and ink. Whether you print with metal type, photopolymer plates, or experimental blocks, it’s important to know what the correct range of plate height, packing, and roller height is, and how to get there with precision.
Dafi Kühne will explain (from various camera angles and with lots of examples) what is actually happening when you adjust press packing vs. when you adjust the height of your plate. He’ll show various ways to precisely measure the height-to-paper, explain the recommended tolerances, and why you don’t want to inadvertently mess with them. He will then demonstrate how he marries precise makeready and unconventional materials in his award-winning letterpress poster work. This class will focus mainly on cylinder proof presses, but some aspects (especially block makeready) work similarly on a platen press. You’ll learn:
- how makeready adjustments impact registration and print quality
- how to balance cylinder packing and underlay to get the perfect impression (on a Vandercook or similar)
- adjusting roller height
- using process of elimination to arrive at the proper setup and inform future troubleshooting
- how Dafi prints from alternative materials in his studio
All participants will receive an illustrated handout for reference and notetaking.
This workshop consists of a demonstration and interactive Q&A, with no advance preparation or supplies necessary to participate.
Who should take this class?
This class is suited for beginning to advanced letterpress printers who wish to gain a deeper understanding of printing mechanics. To get the most out of this class, some letterpress printing experience is helpful.
Will this class be recorded?
All of PiP’s letterpress classes are live and unrecorded — we find it’s a lot more fun and interactive this way. They are closed captioned using Zoom’s Live Transcription feature; to make the most of this tool, update to the most recent version of Zoom.
Visit our FAQ page to learn more about PiP’s class policies.