Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Inkspot Press - Launch

Inkspot is the latest studio to emerge after the old BIP printmaking studio closed in April.
In May BIP - ART situated in a mews in Kemptown opened, specialising in litho, traditional etching and handpress relief prints.
Inkspot Press launched this Saturday with a BBQ, printmaking demo's, party and music.

Inkspot is using the old BIP studio on the Lewes Road but that is where the similarity ends. The studio has been cleared, painted and refurbished. New lighting installed, and the studio redesigned to give a clear, light clean space where artists can produce prints and work efficiently.

The Studio houses 4 large screenbeds, 2 proofing presses for letterpress printing (along with 180 cases of type), a Hunter-Penrose etching press suitable for printing collagraph or etching plates or similar (there aren't facilities at the studio for traditional acid etching) and a hydraulic 'Polymataal' relief press. Inkspot is also employing a studio manager - Nim - to keep the studio and equipment running efficiently.

It's good to see that letterpress printing is being rediscovered by young designers today and allied to printmaking whole new ideas an innovations are emerging - artists books etc. Inkspot has a letter press section with a fantastic FAG (swiss made) Proofing Press as well as an American Vandercook proofing press, and 180 cases of wooden poster type and metal fonts. They said that letterpress classes at the studio already have a waiting list.

Less attractive but more practical than the old BIP cast iron Columbian Press is "The Beast" - the Polymetaal relief press. It's the same size as a Columbian and the same basic design but instead of using a lever to print the press uses an electric / hydraulic system which enables high pressures to be achieved than the old hand press which was designed more for type than large solid colour woodcuts (solid colour needs more pressure). I haven't personally tested "The Beast" yet but those who have say how forgiving it is and easy to use - even printing warped blocks perfectly if they can be inked properly.

Hunter-Penrose etching press nice heavy geared etching press.

Inkspot Press hasn't had time to design their website so I strongly suggest you go and have a look round the press. The courses in screenprinting, woodcut and letterpress have already started and Inkspot are taking bookings for future courses and summer-schools.

No comments: