Paper and printers

Claire Manning, 2013
Claire Manning, 2013

The wonderful people at Jealous Print are prepared to let me use their printer experimentally. Fired with enthusiasm I head to John Purcell’s in search of paper with interest and texture. What a place – an Aladdin’s cave stacked to the rafters with materials, just a narrow pathway between the stacks for humans to navigate. ‘How do you find anything’, I ask; ‘you learn’, the reply. They’re bulk suppliers so most things need to be ordered in quantity, but they have a wonderful choice – overwhelming in fact. I leave with A4 samples of:

Resho 90gsm – the colour of brown wrapping paper, with visible fibre texture
Khadi J3 bamboo – cream, heavily textured, visible green bamboo leaves
Kitakata – cream, smooth, slight texture
Heritage book white 100gsm – off white, smooth
Heritage white 100gsm – similar to previous but paler
Somerset book soft white 115gsm – off white cotton rag paper that feels very absorbent
Somerset White 115gsm – similar to previous but paler

I’m having a paper / stationary related fantasy that can only be satisfied by being able to print IMMEDIATELY – when I want, what I want. I hate to admit this, but a new printer purchase follows swiftly (my old machine HAS broken) – a basic professional machine that uses the Epson Ultrachrome ink system. The machine sits, silently accusing, beside me now – evidence of my spending excess – but at least I can’t argue I’m not self-sufficient! I’ve also found a place to cut aluminium composite board to size. From past experience, photographs will be fiddly to mount on this but works with some practice and care. I’m amassing 12 images to print – then let the collaging fun commence!

I still intend to use screen printing but the pressure is now off. More of a fun activity that may or may not take me somewhere I don’t anticipate going. I’ve realised I must view these images differently – not as pseudo digital prints but something with their own unique characteristics. Taking an image into CMYK mode, splitting it into its 4 unique channels, then saving each separately gives the raw output required for a screen print. Results should be Bitmapped using a resolution of 300px, and half-toned ensuring frequency remains identical whilst angle shifts. Printing marks may be added in print mode.

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