Sláma Press Printmaking Techniques - Upsmag - Magazine News

Sláma Press Printmaking Techniques

In April this year printmaker Emma Jones composed an exceptional evaluation of the Sláma Press, evaluating it on woodcut, linocut and drypoint. Her prints are generally taken with a bamboo baren or on her modified mangle engraving press, so she is well positioned to provide a reasonable assessment of its special functions and efficiency. The post did timely interested consumers to hypothesize on how it may work for other printmaking methods. With those concerns in mind, I believed it would be a great concept to take a Sláma Press back to my studio and attempt it out on my etched plates, along with see how it carried out for collagraph, monoprint and a strategy I have actually been itching to attempt, Mokulito, or wood lithography.



The Sláma Press Ball Graphic Press is a magnificently crafted hand printing press developed and made in the Czech Republic. It was established by Milos Sláma throughout his look for an option to printing his massive linocuts with a tool that was portable and budget-friendly. The style is based upon the ball bearing baren, a modern-day analysis of a standard Japanese baren, however with included weight. The easily turning ball bearings develop numerous pressure points throughout the disc and the disc itself turns around a main axis as you move the Sláma Press throughout the paper.

Provided Emma had actually currently talked about relief printing, and I understood I would be evaluating out some much heavier documents, I removed both variations of the bigger press along with 3 of the <a href=" Weights. 3 of the 1 kg weights installed onto the big Sláma Press of 1.5 kg offered me a 4.5 kg tool to deal with. I felt that would suffice for my shoulders, and I didn’t wish to eliminate the big manage and transform it into a more conventional design baren, as I discover pushing down puts in excessive pressure on my wrists. The vertical manage keeps your wrist in a neutral position, among its huge benefits in my eyes.


Alternatives to acquire consist of:

Slama Press med

Sláma Press Big 60 with 60 x 10 mm ball bearings, extremely efficient at burnishing prints on much heavier paper, thicker than 250 gsm. Sláma Press Big 60 weighs 1.570 kg

Slama Press large

Then there is the Sláma Press Big 150 with 150 x 6 mm ball bearings, extremely efficient at burnishing prints on smoother, lighter weight documents – as much as 250gsm. Slama Press Big 150 weighs 1.520kg.

Slama Press weight

To increase the pressure that Sláma Press can put in there are the Extra Weights, each weighing precisely 1 kg. Approximately an overall of 5 weights can be contributed to the big Sláma Presses.


Printing a Collagraph

Collagraphs are a kind of print drawn from a collaged plate of frequently discovered products. The products, of differing texture, are stuck down onto card or wood and additional infiltrated if wanted. The plates can be sealed or unsealed, tattooed up when it comes to intaglio or relief, or both on the very same plate. Ink will hold on to the shapes, soak into any absorbent locations, or rest on smooth surface areas and printing can be either by hand or by engraving press, for that reason the variables are limitless.


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My little plate was made from torn papers stuck onto a piece of install card with Jackson’s Acrylic Gel Medium. I scored the install card and peeled away its surface area layer to expose the absorbent core along with sticking down some string. In a couple of locations I painted on a little gel medium, in specific sealing the glued-on circle of paper. The plate was tattooed with Akua Intaglio Ink, selected as I understand it is extremely soft with a high pigment load and I understood this would be simple to use to and clean from the plate. The paper was moistened Fabriano Unica, a really flexible 250 g printmaking paper. I believed I need to utilize Sláma Press 60 with 3 weights included for pressure.


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This was a difficulty. I discovered it hard to keep the paper from moving, the ink in this scenario not acting in any method to stick to the paper and stabilise it. This print, however well embossed when checking on the back, printed rather like a relief, with the ink taken primarily from the surface area or smoother locations. In addition, I discovered the raised components, in this case the string, hindered the contact Sláma Press might make with the plate. To compare, I took the plate over to the little Fome Etching Press and took a ‘ghost’ print to see what ink stayed.


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If you take a look at the ghost print listed below you will see that the majority of the ink in the absorbent locations has actually been left by the Sláma Press, the darker locations are the torn edges and exposed core of the install card. The ink from the raised and smooth locations has actually currently been moved to the paper by the Sláma Press.


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On the basis of this standard test, I feel that if you treat your collagraph more as a relief printing job then the Sláma Press might work well however you will require to adjust your procedure to it instead of the other method round.


Line Etching and Aquatint

Emma, in her post, evaluated Sláma Press on a drypoint plate, and in reality I have actually likewise attempted it and it works extremely well undoubtedly. It deserves keeping in mind here that in drypoint you are utilizing a sharp tool to move the plate product up into a raised burr that will hold your ink. In engraving you are biting troughs down into the plate that will hold your ink. This produces a various obstacle for the Sláma Press.

I attempted a range of plates I had actually produced printing on an etching press, starting with a great copper plate engraving with components of acrylic aquatint. I picked a smoother paper, the Stonehenge Art Paper, which is a charming 100% cotton printmaking paper. My thinking being that there would be very little texture to ‘interfere’ with the great lines, and once again picked the Sláma Press 60 with 3 of the included weights for pressure.


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Above programs a standard oil based black, Cranfield Conventional Etching Ink Aquatint Black. I did begin with a sheet of tracing paper in between the moistened Stonehenge paper and journalism, however then eliminated it as I discovered the Stonehenge paper to be quite strong. It has actually gotten the fine lines well however not totally, and the aquatint locations I would state mainly. I likewise discovered the paper sat tight on the metal plate, which I believe is down to a specific quantity of adhesion in between the moistened paper and the smooth metal.


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Cranfield Caligo Safewash Etching Black on Stonehenge Art Paper White


The very same plate is printed with the Caligo Safewash Etching Black on the Stonehenge paper. The water soluble oil inks can bleed a bit more, the paper here originating from the very same moist pack.


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Cranfield Caligo Safewash Etching Black on Stonehenge Art Paper Warm White


By method of contrast, here is a zinc plate engraving printed with the very same Caligo Safewash Etching Black and the Stonehenge paper. This zinc plate has much deeper lines than the copper plate etching. This time I have actually utilized The Sláma 60 without any extra weights to excellent impact on a little plate.


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Cranfield Caligo Safewash Etching Black on Fabriano Unica White printed on the Fome Etching Press


And After That the very same etching printed with Caligo Safewash Etching Ink and Fabriano Unica paper on the Fome 250 mm Etching Press. You can see just how much crisper the lines are. The action is so various and as an outcome you acquire a really various sensation with the Sláma press, in some way a much softer looking print.


Deep Line Etching

Sláma Press explain the constraints of printing a deep line etching and here is one to show that. Below is a zinc plate engraving where deep lines have actually been bitten and you can see how Sláma Press is getting the ink from the leading edges of each line however missing out on the ink from the centre. It highlights how Sláma Press will butt up versus the sides of these deep marks however cannot squeeze the paper down enough to get all the ink.


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Cranfield Caligo Safewash Etching Black on Fabriano Unica White



Monoprinting is thought about a planographic kind of printing, where the ink rests on the surface area of the plate in the very same method that ink rests on a relief plate. The ink can then be drawn into, or satisfied into with textured things just like gel printing plates.

I utilized a Jackson’s Transparent Printing Plate to make the very first print and 2 inks I needed to hand, the Charbonnel Aqua Wash Prussian Blue and the Caligo Safewash Relief Raw Umber. The plate was a Jackson’s Transparent Printing Plate. I have actually generally printed a mono print from this kind of company plate on an etching press, rolling on rather a thin layer of ink and after that producing the image by drawing and cleaning into the ink to move it around or raise it away.

Operating in in this manner, I took a print on dry Snowdon Cartridge 130 gsm with the Sláma Press 150 with a single 1 kg weight included. I believed I wouldn’t need rather as much pressure this time. I did discover that journalism didn’t move rather as much ink as I had actually hoped, although it dealt with extremely well, moving throughout the smooth plate and paper quickly. I did nevertheless acquire an actually excellent transfer by rolling the ink onto the plate in a somewhat thicker layer.


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Monoprint with Charbonnel Aqua Wash Prussian Blue and Caligo Safewash Relief Raw Umber on Snowdon Cartridge Paper 130 gsm


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Ghost print of the above handled the Fome Etching Press.


After printing there was still a fair bit of ink staying on the plate which can be seen on the ghost print I handled the engraving press later on. So, with this little adaption of dealing with a somewhat much heavier layer of ink, the Sláma Press works incredibly well, however be gotten ready for more ink squish in this scenario.

Provided the variety of substrates that can be utilized for monoprinting, there is scope for a good deal of experimentation. Thinking of how Sláma Press was at first established with linocut in mind, I envision lino as a monoprint plate would be a fantastic choice, particularly as it can be cut into shapes or its surface area sculpted and included into your work.


Gel Plate Printing

Monoprinting on the gel plate nevertheless was a various story. Printing with Speedball Specialist Relief Inks it might be argued that simply the palm of your hand is all that is required to move the ink from plate to paper, however considered that the concern was raised, I believed I would check it out. I utilized a Gelli Plate 6 x 6 inch and some Speedball Specialist Relief Inks

Considering that the plate was little and rather thick (5 mm) I believed a much heavier paper would prevent any flexing and creasing over the plate edges. Both the Sláma 150 and the Sláma 60, with no extra weights, offered similar outcomes. Prints were handled a charming smooth hot pushed Fabriano Artistico and a somewhat more textured Somerset Velour. A really even move of ink was made onto both documents and the motion of the Sláma Press over the plate and paper was extremely simple, the minor bounce of the Gelli Plate adding to this. Printing with this gel plate evoked a video of Sláma Press printing onto material. A lot of the soft lino type plates such as Speedy Carve and Essdee Softcut might be utilized to develop an image that might be moved onto material, and it seems like the Sláma Press would be a great option of tool for this.


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Gel print from Gelli Plate with Speedball Specialist Relief Inks onto Fabriano Artistico.


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Gel print from Gelli Plate with Speedball Specialist Relief Inks onto Somerset Velour.


Mokulito (Wood Lithography)

Another planographic strategy is lithography and we had a concern after Emma’s post; how would the Sláma Press work for lithography? I hesitate at the time of composing this I didn’t have access to lithographic stones or ball ground plates however in this case, I feel that if you are dealing with these you most likely have access to a lithographic press. Rather, I seized the day to experiment with some wood lithography, otherwise called mokulito.


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Drawing onto plywood with lithographic products.


Like conventional lithography, which is based upon the principal that water and oil do not blend, mokulito includes drawing an image with grease bring products onto a wood plate rather than a stone. Plywood has actually ended up being the popular choice provided its economy and lightweight. Established 50 years back in Japan as a non-toxic option to conventional lithography, the processing of the plate is much easier, with an ‘engrave’ of pure gum arabic the only option needed to repair the image.


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In spite of the minor distinction in processing, mokulito prints in the very same method as conventional lithography. The moistened paper will get the oily ink from the surface area of the plate, while at the very same time soaking up water from the non-ink locations. I have actually seen artists print mokulito on engraving presses and by hand with ball bearing barens and even backs of spoons.


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Inking mokulito plate


In spite of having much to find out with this remarkable strategy, I did handle to develop something to check out journalism and get remarkably excellent outcomes. Utilizing Shina Plywood sanded with 1000 grit paper, I discovered the most effective illustration medium to be a lithographic illustration ink used by dip pen or brush along with especially soft lithographic crayons. I won’t enter into the procedure here, as I am simply a novice, however you can discover great deals of info and ‘how to’ videos on the web. Suffice to state it is an affordable and available ‘variation’ of a lithography. Shall I call names here? I took the following prints with both the 60 and the 150 Sláma Press with a 1 kg weight included.


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Mokulito print made with Shina plywood with lithographic illustration inks and crayons on Stonehenge Art Warm White.


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Mokulito print made with Shina plywood with lithographic illustration inks and crayons on Stonehenge Art Warm White.


The paper was moistened Stonehenge Art Paper and the ink was a standard oil-based relief ink softened with some plate oil. In the 2nd image you can see the black locations deepening, this increases as you duplicate ink and I comprehend just little editions are possible. I discovered the Sláma Press moved the ink consistently to the paper, obviously the wood has a small springiness to it which I feel assisted.

I hope this post goes some method to responding to the concerns raised. Adjusting to this extremely flexible printmaking tool might open an universe of possibilities for the printmaker who cannot accommodate a big press or desires a portable choice for taking prints of all sizes.



Additional Checking Out

Evaluating the New Sláma Press

Whatever You Required to Learn About Printmaking Paper

Woodcut Printmaking for Beginners – What You Required to Begin

Printmaking: Comparing Lino, Softcut, Speedy Carve and Japanese Vinyl


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The post Sláma Press Printmaking Methods appeared initially on Jackson's Art Blog site.

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