Our studio is up and running, yes you thought this day would never come, but it has and it's so nice to work in. So nice in fact that today I put on Arvo Part (sublime) and just danced, well kind of did some Genevieve style ballet, the style that you do when know one is looking.
Our underfloor heating is not hooked up yet as our electrician has gone to Russia for seven weeks but promised to return. But we have cocooned the space in so much insulation under the slab, around the slab, up the side of the walls and the roof that we just have had our little panel heater on and it's so cosy inside.
So this afternoon we have been up in the darkroom making the first photopolymer plate for the wedding invitations. We have three weeks to get a range together, its all designed just now to make plates and print. It's rush hour here in Hill End but that's ok as it's all very exciting, so exciting that we jumped out of bed this morning around 6.00pm, still dark and Bill jogged off into the early morning with Tango, came back and we have been on the photopolymer case since.
Photopolymer plates are what is used now for letterpress printmaking. They are light sensitive and come in a sealed pack that only enjoys the darkroom. We don't have a machine to make our plates we are very hands on and want to know how to do it ourselves, to be totally thorough in what we are achieving with our letterpress stationery. I guess it's in the artist psyche to want to know more in whatever we pursue.
The beauty of the photopolymer plate is that we can use a magnetic base in our press and it just snaps on in position which is very different to years ago when you would handset rows and rows of all the type. We love to handset type too for our arts practice but for the stationery this is a quicker way to go with very good results.
I draw up the designs, scan them into the computer, take them into Indesign and then we have a little wrestle on which way the fonts sit well (its our process) then Bill produces them into a negative on our Epson stylus pro 3880 printer with the aid of our computer, I love the old method with the contemporary technology.
Then off to the darkroom and exposed in Bill's handmade vacuum box ( his a handy chap, very clever) for 17 minutes, don't forget to take the clear cover film off the front of the plate before going into the V box, then into a bath of thirty degrees for 10 minutes of washing with a terrific little sponge brush Bill found at Bunnings.
This is followed by drying the plate in front of a blow heater and if its a sunny day, it sits on a window ledge sunbaking for a little while, then it's all done.
I also made delightful, just could keep eating them till the cows came home Olive oil biscuits with fennel seed from our garden, so so good just out of the oven.