Posts Tagged ‘Monotype’

Support the new PROJECT PRINT Studio

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014


Our Kickstarter was an epic fail, but we moved forward with a minimal print shop on the 4th floor of Neumann Leathers. We have one intaglio press and the gear to support etching, drypoint, block printing, and monotype. Contact us for details.


Help us invite artists to create a series of fine-art print editions in the processes of stone lithography, etching, drypoint, and monotype.

Project Studios in Hoboken, New Jersey, our company that provides studio space and creative support for individual artists and collectives, musicians, and creative companies and non-profits in the greater New York City area wants to re-open our print shop. Many of the artists we work with have expressed interest in having access to a traditional printmaking studio where they can create print editions or just get very creative with a medium that they don’t normally work with on a day-to-day basis.

The first step is to make our existing fine-art printmaking studio better serve the needs of local artists, by adding the stone lithography process to our capabilities. This will require the purchase of a lithography press, lithography stones, and the handling equipment required to support the medium. A good lithography press is a fairly large capital investment for a studio, and the stones themselves are quite rare and are difficult to obtain. Fortunately, we have located a private print shop that is selling exactly what we need. Our shop already has the tools for etching, engraving, drypoint, monotype, and wood cut printing including an intaglio press.

The second part of the equation is giving selected area artists free access to the print studio for six months. During that time the artists may work on anything they like, but they will also be required to produce sets of prints that will be distributed as rewards to backers of this project. The studio will provide some special found paper with historical relevance that artists may choose to work with including old paper garment patterns from the leather factory where the studio is housed, and antique blueprints from the now-vanished dockyards of Hoboken.

You can help make this happen by contributing to this project, and you will be rewarded with original artwork from artists that we invite to the studio. There is also an option to take a short printmaking class.

Pledge your support and receive original artwork as a thank-you gift.

The final celebration of the successful project will be an exhibition and opening reception party at Proto Gallery, a local contemporary art gallery in Hoboken. All artists participating in the project may exhibit prints generated during the duration of their free residencies.

White Strike (Levering and Garrigues)

Monday, February 1st, 2010

Here is the print I have donated to the Art for Haiti NYC charity auction for Doctors Without Borders.

Nick De Pirro

White Strike (Levering and Garrigues)
24″ x 36″
Monotype on Eary 19th-Century Blueprint

This was one of the prints that was made during the Bantam Mechanics session a few months back. The substrate is an early 20th Century blueprint for the Hoboken dockyards. It is part of the series (and really the only current work to speak of) dealing with redaction and destruction of documents.

Bantam + Mechanics: Precursor: A Press Play

Friday, October 16th, 2009

How does one begin to enter the American car culture? In grade school, we drew flaming hot-rod Mustangs, Army tanks, and fast fighter jets. Now, as we enter this culture in earnest, with real desire, we follow that same path. Printmaking allows us to once again work together, and begin to define a path for this project. A literal blueprint is used, for example, in some of these prints, that is then altered or even destroyed by a artist’s mark. The blueprint is a plan, and the mark is the effort to take the pedestrian or commercial antique object and convert it to artwork. In doing this, yes, the antique is destroyed, but a new object is born. This is a model for what we will do with our Bantam Roadster in many ways. The new object, in our case, respects the original albeit antique automobile, but we do not fear the damage of provenance that will likely occur.

Our prints are marks of redaction and burnouts on historical documents and plain paper.

These prints illustrate the simplest reduction of what the overall long-term work will be.

De Pirro + Williams

DIY Etching Press: From Memory

Sunday, March 29th, 2009


The new (used) etching press has arrived. Remo and I unloaded it about a week ago and I finally got around to really cleaning it up and setting the micro-gauges so that I  can actually use it. I still need to level it, but the floor is so uneven, I will probably just put blocks under the feet. I apologize for the photos, I took them with my iPhone under fluorescent lights. I did all this setup from memory, and the last time I put a hand on a press was almost 10 years ago. I have my Dad’s awesome printmaking book, but I have not taken it out yet. The press itself is a joint venture between Kivetz, Ian Williams, and myself. Here is a little description of what I did to fire it up.

Step one: Get yourself an etching press. I guess you could build one, but it might be faster to buy one. To build one you are going to need a GTAW machine, Engine Lathe, and Milling Machine. You can probably buy most of the bearings pretty easily, but I digress. I bought a used one from a guy up in Teaneck. It was in his garage, just about completely walled in with junk. It was a pretty serious job extracting it. Remo had a good time because he appreciates humorous situations. We loaded it on my trailer, took it down the turnpike, and then rolled it right into the shop on a pallet jack. This press has a 28″ x 48″ bed. Not too shabby, but the real nice thing about this press is the size of the rollers. It also has a gear reduction crank case and no captain’s wheel. I am pretty sure I can make a big wheel for it, but I am not sure if I can secure it without removing the crank case. I would like to keep them both if possible. 

Martek 28\

Step 2: Polish that old hulk. I cleaned up all of the visible metal on the press with non-woven abrasives and steel wool. I removed some pieces to better clean them, but I didn’t go crazy. W-D 40 all around. The blankets are from the previous owner, and they are pretty moth-eaten and there is no sizing catcher. Add blankets to the shopping list. Also, the Martek label fell off.

Step 3: Zero out the press by bottoming out the top roller against the bed. Once you hit the bed, take up the slack in the threads so that all the play is out, but the roller is not lifted. I am talking about maybe a half turn or less. You can now move your gauges to the zero mark and lock them down.

Step 4: Cut some grid paper and cover that newly shined up bed. You could be all 17th century and leave the bed exposed, but let’s make it easy and register everything on a nice sheet of 1/8″ grid.

Lexan Sheet on Martek Press Bed

Step 5: Get a sheet of Lexan and cut it to the measurements of the bed. Cover the grid paper to keep your grid and your final print media clean. I just used some clear packing tape to secure it to each end of the bed. Note: Lexan is not all that easy to work with. You are also going to have to be aware that you just added thickness to the bed, so your zero mark is not zero any longer- not that it matters.

Step 6: Run a few test prints to get your pressure set. I don’t have a sizing catcher, and the pusher blanket is in pretty bad shape, but I was able to get a print. The main issue is that the studio is a sculpture shop, and I don’t have everything for proper printmaking yet. I was not able to soak my paper, so I just spritzed it and blotted it. Apparently not enough sizing was removed and the print was pretty light with a good amount of ink left on the plate. I am pretty sure my pressure was good, but it probably could have been a bit higher. Having proper blankets would have probably helped also, but I am pretty sure this was a paper issue. I was happy just to smell the ink again.

Here is the print. Again, lousy iPhone image, but you get the idea. The plate is a “full sized” Revere zinc plate that has been exposed to the elements for about 10 years or more. It had cardboard against it at one time, so it etched naturally. I am working the image very slightly, adding dry-point marks. Eventually, this will become the substrate for an image of the American Bantam rooster, or maybe not. I am planning some Bantam prints no matter what. I just never know what any plate is going to look like when it is done.

First Dry-Point Print from the Martek Press