The cut & dried, razor-sharp linework and simple blunt impact of this image don’t lend themselves to much in the way of considered reflection, but when rolling out my fifth or sixth pad of ink of the day, I found myself gazing upon the giant steel plate, catching a whiff of mineral spirits, my hands stained in oily black… the studio filled with the satisfying clanks, hisses and smacks of the rubber brayer… and I thought: this fits. Just based on the materials alone, this is perfect. What better way to reproduce this exquisite drawing of this beast of an engine than with steel, rubber, oil, and a whole lot of elbow grease?
Following up on the success of both 1949 Mercury and Memento Mori we’re very pleased to present our newest large-scale collaboration with the inimitable COOP, “Hemi-Powered.”
It reproduces a Chrysler 426 Hemi (aka “The Elephant”) and COOP tells us that that’s a Cragar blower rigged up to it.
The print is big!
We get a little bit better at solving the myriad problems that such a large relief print will throw our way every time… light blacks and sloppy linework are always a problem, and to get a decent punch we end up hitting these hard enough that the (sizing-free!) paper (Arches 88) starts to buckle, crease, and generally deform in bunch of unhelpful ways. Luckily we’ve invented some tricks to cope with all of this; here’s a glimpse at some of our custom-cut maskwork, which we use to build up the shallow areas of the plate and distribute the immense pressure that the press applies just so:
Shipping giant prints presents problems of its own… we ended up just driving the prints out to LA ourselves for the signing. COOP rolled up in this:
and got to work:
A quick trip to get an embossed printer’s chop and we had another big, beautiful edition on our hands. “Hemi-Powered” is available now on pressureprinting.com!
In 2012, I became immersed in scientific and philosophical theories. In particular, I was obsessed with scientific diagrams, which explain theories and properties though drawings. Although these rudimentary drawings were without any leanings towards aesthetics, I found them to be beautiful, though that is clearly not their intention. I was inspired to create my own interpretations of the concepts of consciousness and other theories on a scientific, philosophical, and spiritual level through a simplified means such as drawing. All of the projects I have created begin as drawings, which I feel have a beauty and intimacy that paintings cannot capture. The subtle lines that graphite creates and the quickness in which one can capture an idea makes this medium alluring.
— Daniel Martin Diaz
Daniel Martin Diaz is self-publishing a new art-book entitled ”Soul of Science;” he funded it (three times over!) on Kickstarter and it’s going to be great. Daniel is one of our favorites and we hadn’t done a project with him in forever. Upon seeing the Kickstarter we immediately saw these wonderful images as the perfect opportunity to work with him again. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: there is no finer way to reproduce a graphite drawing than via an edition of hand-pulled intaglio prints. From the rich blacks to the grainy, feathery lights, the two processes were seemingly made for each other.
Luckily, Daniel was as excited about the idea as we were and we were off to the races.
Save for a few requisite rounds of test plates, the printing went smooth-as-you-please. We did however take these editions as opportunities to teach ourselves some new hand-staining & paper-aging tricks. Our “paper aging” process now involves three stains and dozens of steps, but the results speak for themselves:
Never content to leave well enough alone, we borrowed some imagery from Mr. Diaz’s book—a Penrose triangle—to create a decorative embossing chop. We wondered: can you make a three-dimensional sculpted die of an impossible object? It took a few paper models and a couple of rounds of refinement, but the answer, happily, was yes!
Finally, we sent them off to Mr. Diaz to sign…
… and ended up with a superb trio of editions, available today!
James Jean’s “Parallel Lives” solo show opens tonight in New York City; anyone with half a chance of making it to the Jack Tilton Gallery before eight should seize the opportunity see this wondrous group of paintings in the flesh.
James asked us if we would be interested in publishing the show catalog and we jumped at the chance. For those of you can’t make it to the show tonight, the catalog is the perfect way to bring a piece of the show home. It comes signed and numbered by James and has been printed in a limited edition of 1,000.
It’s only $38.
We take as much pride in an offset piece like this as we do in our hand-pulled editions, minding every detail. The paintings speak for themselves, and the catalog — thanks in large part to James’ stellar design — feels crisp, clean and exactly right.
Pick one up today at pressureprinting.com!
We came across Scott’s “Mutations” drawing a while back & loved it. I mean, fuzzy interlocking taurus rodents? Sold. We bought the drawing and asked Scott if we could edition it on the spot; he graciously agreed.
Delicate pencil drawings, as far as we’re concerned, were made to be turned into intaglio prints. Both are monochrome, a little bit gritty and capable of the subtlest of tonal subtleties — it’s a perfect match.
No fantastical antiquarian print would be complete without a little tea and gouache:
Scott’s original drawing isn’t contained within any humdrum, plain-jane rectilinear frame — instead he surrounded his pair of topographically complex rodents with a pointed arch. The drawing came double-matted, with the two sheets of matteboard cut into concentric pointed arch windows. We loved the effect. That simple shape somehow takes what was merely bizarre and makes it mystical — it takes the rodents out of a textbook and places them in a reliquary.
We debossed the prints to mirror the sculptural effect of the matting and added a thin band of gold and some ornamental flourishes to the mix. The carving in the moulding echoes all of this with a tight pattern of gothic arches (and hearts!).
Some frame assembly…
…and a trip to Scott’s house for signing and titling and we were done with this little beauty of a print. We’re still waiting on some custom foam and boxes, so orders won’t ship until Thusrday December 6th, but “Mutations” is available for purchase today in the Pressure Printing store.
We’re (quietly) releasing a new print today! It’s a little bit special, but first some backstory…
Jessicka Addams & Brian Wakil run the pop-up gallery Dark Dark Science and are on to something good. Their first show (which featured Jessicka’s own works alongside the wondrous dioramas of Lindsey Wey) was something of a coming-out party for Jessicka, who has been a huge part of the lowbrow scene for years—making great music & best friends—but has only begun seriously pursuing a visual arts career recently. For their most recent show, “LA MiXTAPE” Bryan & Jessicka corralled the biggest names in lowbrow and stuck them in a room with some fresh new talent in a—frankly—amazing group show centered around the idea of favorite songs and mixtapes.
Brad liked the show idea so much he decided it was worth more than just a thousand mile drive to the opening—he contributed a print, too: “MiXTAPE - LOS ANGELES - 08/04/12”
Brad would rather take a stick to the eye than toot his own horn but this is Eric here, so I can say that watching Mr. Keech—who has spent over 10 years at the helm of Pressure Printing—finally pull a few of his own images off the press was a real treat. The drawing is as strange and quirky as the man himself… and the man can draw! It took a bit of prodding but he let me put the print up in the store: it’s here. Buy it now!
A switch is thrown and everything changes
— Tim Biskup (Broken & Slayer stories)
Over the past few years it seems whenever we send out a big email announcement an alarming portion of the replies come back as some variation on, “Hey! It won’t load on my phone!”
So we made a new website that will.
We think that the new site’s clean, simple look & easy-breezy functionality are the bees knees, too.
To celebrate, we’re having a 20% off housewarming sale thru the end of September—just enter “SHINY” in the discount code box. So explore our back-catalog, kick the new site’s tires, and maybe pick up a couple of discounted prints while you’re at it.
“1949 Mercury” was our largest print ever… until now. We started trying to figure out a sequel as soon as the ink on the Mercuries dried, and we’re happy to release it today: “Memento Mori.”
We tried a new paper when printing these: Arches 88. The paper is smooth, soft, thick, and—lacking any sizing—completely disintegrates in water. Printing an image with big solid blacks like this dry (and with as much punch as we wanted to give it) proved to be a bit of a challenge. Dry paper is likely to crack and pull under pressure, and is less receptive to ink; printing dry you walk a fine line between patchy, under-inked solids and sloppy, over-inked linework.
But a day of trial, error, and trickery later we’d ironed out the kinks and arrived at a great print. Killer blacks, razor sharp edges, a deep deboss… giving this awesome image the huge, precise presentation it deserves.
A quick trip to LA to get them signed…
…and we were ready to go. We only printed a regular edition of 25 of these, so get them while they’re hot: “Memento Mori” is available now.
THE CANNISTER — Although many clues have been scattered throughout the Frank stories as to the nature of Pupshaw’s specific biology, this is the first actual glimpse of what might be called the Mother Pup. As you can see it has a tremendous capacity for the sort of transformational influence that makes Pupshaw such a powerful protector and peaceable companion for the gormless Frank. Who is her beneficiary? Time will tell.
THE TREE — If you have ever spent a sleepless night tormented by the question of how Frank perceives the world through those fathomless eyespots, you may able to fully appreciate this rare glimpse of The Unifactor as it registers on his drawing pad. Yes, it is always The Age of Eyes and Things That Look Like Eyes where Frank lives. Do you want to see more? You will.
We just released a pair of small, affordable Jim Woodring prints: “The Tree” and “The Cannister.”
We’re pretty excited about them.
They follow closely in the footsteps of the ever-popular “Squeaker in the Woods” and there’s something just right about this combination of size, paper, printing, and imagery. Jim’s drawings have a wonderful tension between extreme graphic simplicity and gnarly Rococo detail. He somehow weaves these disparate styles into seamless coherent scenes that present you with just enough narrative to get you thinking but not nearly enough for you to figure out what in God’s name is going on.
They’re like endless little mysteries wrapped up in a crisp, tidy clarity.
As such, I can’t think of a better vessel for them than letterpressed prints. The prints’ flat blacks, tiny details, and razor-sharp lines are as crisp as crisp can be. We’ve pressed the edition into a soft, off-white cotton paper with a very deep deboss. The paper puffs right out of Frank’s cheeks; it oozes out of every little textural nook and cranny.
They’re small, they’re cheap, & they’re great. Buy ’em today.
This print has been in the works forever. We’re so glad to finally release it!
Brad had the good luck to be one of the first people to see “Sarah and Emmett,” mere minutes after it was hung on the wall for Travis’s great “Strange Grooming Habits” solo show at Copro Nason way back in 2009. He bought it on the spot and asked Mr. Louie if we could produce a print of it—Travis most graciously agreed.
Having the real, honest-to-goodness painting in front of you when proofing intaglio plates is both a blessing and a curse… the actual painting is relatively large (19” × 16”) and tack sharp, with a subtle, wonderful tonality between its cool whites and rich sepia blacks. The details are so crisp (the hair! the fur! the fisheye!) and the surface so smooth that it looks untouched by human hands. I imagine that Travis lit a few candles, donned a magical frock coat and top hat, closed his eyes and rubbed his temples as the acrylic paint magically developed daguerreotype-style onto the gessoed board across the room.
If you haven’t seen Travis’s work in person I highly recommend it.
But yes… sometimes having the painting can be a curse. There turned out to be a great deal more information in its 19” × 16” than we could cram into an 8” × 5.5” print. But that doesn’t mean we didn’t try; the plates were made and remade and re-remade until we stopped finding things to improve, inks were remixed, the press recalibrated, paper moisture fiddled with, wiping techniques tweaked… the end result is the finest intaglio printing we’re capable of.
And of course we weren’t done.
First came the antiquing and hand staining… the handmade Twinrocker paper took a touch of sepia wash and a bit of walnut ink around the edges like a champ.
Part of the magic of the original lies in the sheen of its smooth surface. We are also familiar with how good Travis’s work looks under domed glass. So we wanted to see if we could work a touch of that shine and dimension into the paper surface itself via embossing. A thousand-dollar domed brass plate and a trip through the Kluge press later, and we had our answer: yes.
Difficult to photograph but impossible not to see and feel, the silky polish of the printed area rising from richly textured paper in a shallow dome and the decorative deboss surrounding the image make for a wonderfully tactile print.
Finally, no project with Travis would be complete without his exquisite hand lettering. Travis hand-titled each and every print in graphite and his signature is a little piece of art all to itself.
Overall we couldn’t be happier with how this project came together. Worth the wait is an understatement. Buy it now!
Late nite printing some Baby Tattooville nametags! More info: