Friday, January 8, 2010

Frisket-Carrier Sheet

If you look closely at my previous post you will see that the word daffydowndilly aligns with the crossbar of the ff ligature. This alignment was accomplished by use of a frisket-carrier sheet, shown above.

The crossbar of the ligature served as a baseline (shown on the illustration as a horizontal line with two vertical tick marks) for the word daffydowndilly. A light-table made for quick alignment. When the second sheet of mylar with the window was laid down over the first, the handmade paper was sandwiched between and held firmly in place. This became the “key block” for subsequent runs.

Obviously a design of this sort does not require hairline registration, but one would like to find an optimal position and attempt to hold to it.

(As is often the case, one must exercise more control over the random than one would have imagined. Wait! I didn’t say that, did I?)

The frisket-carrier sheet simply went into the guides of the press. Use of this method allows you to print very irregular sheets on a cylinder press, while at the same time allowing you to “eyeball” centering up-and-down and left-and-right.

This same technique was used in the printing of some of the pages of Synesthesia (Granary Books: Terence McKenna and Timothy Ely, 1992). Only in that case, I printed the text type on the bottom mylar sheet; then aligned the painted image to the position where I wanted the type to print.

This technique was necessary as Timothy Ely had painted 30x44 inch sheets of Rives BFK, from which the individual pages were then cut. By use of a template Ely was able to duplicate image and placement with some accuracy, but not enough for me to ensure registration from sheet to sheet.

One of the printed pages is shown below.