Monday, December 24, 2018

Two Color Intaglio Printing in Character Traits

For the two color plates in Character Traits, I use the same basic process as the one color plates—I apply the ink by squeegee, wipe with tarlatan and newsprint (and hand if needed), and clean the edges—before laying down a top of color ink with brayer. I originally intended for most prints in the book to be two color, but this intention was modified early on when I realized the complexity of the process. It had never occurred to me in the planning stage that I would need to completely clean the plates between each print to prevent the two inks mixing in successive inking and wipings. This adds an enormous amount of time to the process as the plate not only needs to be cleaned but also dried between prints. Additionally, certain plates in which the intaglio image is too fine simply do not work in two colors. The solution was for both the standard and the deluxe copies to contain a few of the same two color prints, while a selection of prints appear in one color in the standard copies and two colors in the deluxe. Below are some images of each step of the process photographed by Annie Schlechter.