Press the button and…

Press the button and…

see what happens!  After a day preparing surfaces and doing a few little quick and simple transfer prints, it was time today to take a deep breath and go for it.

Winking smile

I started the day as yesterday, using those first couple of hours to run a couple of errands and tick things off my list.  Time is tight when the days are taken up with class and one place I needed to go was M&J on 6th Ave, not that far away from the hotel or the IPC.  My list included “linen twill tape”, a simple enough thing to buy – but when I got there, look at the selection.  I mean, how can a girl choose?!  Whilst I really only wanted cream, I got white too, plus pink….and why not get some green as well?  Oh, and that pale blue is so pretty…they’ll all go through the printer in due course


I arrived to find Mary prepping some aluminium plates for printing – we’d chosen some images for this shiny metallic surface and sometime soon will be doing both a transfer onto them and, I understand, putting them directly through the printers too.  Hmmm…!


We spent the morning creating all kinds of textures and then using Inkaid in a variety of colours to create a receptive surface for the ink.  We prepared black paper, brown kraft paper, card, collages, old bits of artwork and things we’d brought with us.  We added a couple of coats of Inkaid to the substrates we’d created yesterday and made a new one with aluminium duct tape.  Before long, the whole floor was covered in sheets laid out to dry.


We left all of this drying over lunchtime and Jordi and I ran back to the hotel because today we had a special lunch.  I’d booked a package which as well as four nights for the price of three, also included a picnic lunch, which we’d booked for today.  Oh my, what a grand affair, all packed up in a real hamper, complete with bottle of wine!  Teddy Bear James was ready to tuck in too!


Back to work though – we couldn’t wait to get going with the printing!  However, before we could do that, we needed to put the papers in the dry press for a minute or two to straighten and flatten them.  At home, they’d be ironed using the usual iron and baking parchment but here there are enormous heat presses and the prepared surfaces are sandwiched between two non stick sheets and held in the press at 150F and then cooled under a metal weight.  It made quite a difference to most of them though the brown kraft paper was going to prove a challenge, in spite of the careful pressing, it turned out.


The computer set up isn’t easy for printing, involving the need to get up on a step stool to load the paper into the printer which is high on a shelf.  The huge printers are Epson 3880s and we were turning out prints at an incredible rate – thankfully, all included in the class fee!  Having gone through all the print options and changed all kinds of settings I had no idea existed (how helpful it is to have a professional print technician in the class!), it was time to hit the “print” button and step back and wait.


What would the end result be like?  Anxious faces peered into the printer tray to see what was coming out – here a large railway engine is appearing, I hope!


The central table began to fill with all kinds of interesting and exciting images – the large sheets of small colourful pictures are intended for the metal sheets and were printed out on the huge printer by Mary.


As we produced sheets and sheets of prints, we began to realise that matching the correct image for the particular substrate was key to success, and perhaps tomorrow, we’ll create the substrate with the image in mind, rather than vice versa.  I was pleased with my print of Colombo harbour on the duct tape surface but will perhaps have another go with the railway engine tomorrow, to see if we can improve on today’s effort.


After class, we headed downtown to Madison Square, where I just had to take another photograph of my favourite Flatiron building. Love it!


Our destination was the Shake Shack, where the queue was rather long and we were very thirsty.  Time for one of us to take the “B line” and skip to the front to buy two beers to drink whilst we stood in the “A line” to order food!




Though there’s a Shake Shack nearer to home now and another on the West Side, we agreed that there’s nowhere quite like the original and best, the Shake Shack in the Square.

Even if there are birds.

And squirrels.

And I get VERY jumpy!


Today, there was also art in the Square .  Echo was rather striking and as the people of NYC chilled in the park, listening to the live band on stage, we made our way back to 6th and the bus back uptown, via Eataly.  It had been our original intention to get gelati there but by this time, believe it or not, we were Too Full For Dessert.  I know…  But Eataly was buzzing, the place a licence to print money, so full was it (and is always, according to Jordi!)  We promised ourselves dinner at Otto tomorrow instead.

In answer to Dorothy’s question of yesterday, I’ve tried to include hyperlinks to product websites which include UK sources.  I am also reliably informed by the lady herself, that she has many useful links to the sources, too.

Heard on the street

Heard on the street

A great place to learn

A great place to learn