Some people have asked me how I print an eight foot long (240cm) banner of paper.
Here is a short 2 minute video of me printing a plate on the central banner of Seeds of Hope.
I have already wiped the copper printing plate with an open bite etch, so the video focuses on the printing process (sorry the image of the hands on the plate isn't really visible in the video). This is one of the last plates that I'm layering on an almost finished piece. I worked with three different printing plates, each 24" x 36" in size (60cm x 90cm). For each print, I arranged the plate and the paper rather freely on the press bed. The paper is a Japanese Shoji paper from the Japanese Paper Place in Toronto, which picked up the aquatints better than I thought it would and which held up to being re-dampened and run through the press somewhere between 75 - 100 times. I printed this piece over the course of six weeks, printing a few plates every day to avoid too much offsetting of the ink. Once I arrange the plate and the Shoji paper on the press, I place a heavier, damp, western paper over top of the plate to absorb some of the blanket weave pattern before I put the printing blankets down. I let part of the paper hang over the edge of the press, and I release the pressure before I pull the paper out at the end. This print was printed at the University of Alberta graduate print studio.
For the printmaking nerds out there who want to see a version a bit closer to real time with a few more process details, here is a 7 minute version of the same video.