Why No Detail? Part 2. Up with Step Wedge Tests! Down with White Mesh!

Last week we ran a big Ink Kitchen list of reasons why you might not hold detail in your prints. My pals at Saati had a little more feedback. It is their usual type of feedback, helpful and practical. “First, make sure to run an exposure (cure) test and at least get into the range of optimum exposure.  The 21-step (Stouffer step wedge) guide we
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Why Can’t I Hold Detail in My Screenprints?

This question comes up often with screenprinters: why can we not hold detail? The answer is an idea  similar to the art department concept of problems with source artwork where we say “garbage in, garbage out.” We are now are transferring that idea to print production.  Basically, if you have a crappy stencil you have no chance of achieving high detail in print. Some basic answers on
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Squeegees: A Few Thoughts on One of the Most Essential Things in Your Shop

A few thoughts on Squeegees: Without good squeegee blades you cannot print well. They are absolutely essential. Don’t let them soak in anything, clean them you lazy…  If you soak them they swell up and are not the same durometer any longer. Change them often. We turn them around then chuck them. I now believe after visiting Andy Anderson’s shop that you can sharpen them,
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Happy Earth Day

Happy Earth Day! April 22nd has been the annual day since some folks started it in 1970. After witnessing the terrible Santa Barbara oil spill Senator Gaylord Nelson announced the idea for a “national teach-in on the environment” to the national media. He persuaded Pete McCloskey, a conservation-minded Republican Congressman, to serve as his co-chair; and recruited Denis Hayes from Harvard as national coordinator. Hayes built a
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How to be a Better Printer: Spend a Little $ Wisely

Question: Our printing doesn’t seem to be getting better, what are the best ways to go about improving our printing abilities?   Answer: My two cents? Stop being penny wise and pound foolish. Saving twenty dollars and buying a gallon of inexpensive but inferior emulsion is a terrible idea. Inferior emulsions don’t have the resolution of most of the more expensive emulsions because they don’t
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SGIA Expo Atlanta 2015 – LED, Textured Digital Prints, and Cool Little Damn Bulbs

I saw some cool stuff at SGIA today. This is first of a few posts from here in Atlanta. Saati has a point source light that is LED, super fast exposure, constant exposure, energy saving, and what I like, super simple design. You can even control it from your phone via bluetooth if the control unit goes down. That’s Ross Balfour who has a cool
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Scrub Down, Chow Down, Bottoms Up

We had a cool time with some fellow printers and a few chill vendors this week. A good time was had by all at our Ink Kitchen “East Coast Scrubdown and BBQ.” Three customers of mine hooked us up big time. Best Q around from Blue Ribbon BBQ, best brews around with Summer Ale and my personal fave Porch Rockers from Sam Adams, and what
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The Ink Kitchen East Coast Scrub Down and Barbecue

What are you doing next Wednesday? Why not spend the afternoon (and evening) talking shop and shooting the…breeze while enjoying some Blue Ribbon Barbecue, Iggy’s Bread, and beer and cider from Sam Adams Boston Beer Company on us- The Ink Kitchen and Peter Rinning of QRSTs. We’ve got Greg Jensen from SAATI and Brian Lessard from Rutland Inks coming, too. Come to Mirror Image at 190 Exchange Street in Pawtucket, Rhode
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Reflections at the End of the Trade Show Season – Part 1

A few refections as the busy trade show season is mostly over. I think the biggest trends of the past ten years have been digital printing and environmental concerns. Developments in the environmental realm have slowed but still do continue and will not stop, we have to find increasingly safe and sustainable ways to do our work . Digital printing continues to innovate and grow.
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