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.


Preston said...

Ah, nice idea. Thanks!

Lynn said...

Hi Phillip,
I'm trying to understand this mylar frisket sheet. It seems like an exciting breakthrough. What puzzles me is what holds the paper exactly in place in the mylar envelope? I would love to devise a method of registration on my Sigwalt that avoids the inky knuckles problem.

P Gallo said...

The method described is designed for a cylinder press, as the mylar must be flexible enough to wrap around the cylinder.

The method might be adapted for use on a platen press by using a rigid (.005 - .010 inch) clear styrene sheet as the carrier.

Then the sheet to be printed could be positioned and loosely tacked in place with masking tape, making the frisket sheet and window unnecessary.

Most hobby shops carry styrene sheets of this thickness for use by model makers.