Unfortunately, we don't have anything scheduled.
Send us an email or give us a call at (302) 454-1411 to express your interest or schedule for a group.
Vandercook technical workshop
using the handcranked SP15 and the automatic Universal III
7 working hours plus lunch
minimum of 3 attendees, maximum of 6
$120 per attendee
Rental of Lead Graffiti's Vandercook equipment for personal projects requires the completion of this technical workshop or solid evidence of adequate technical skills.
This is a technical workshop designed to provide an introductory printing experience on Vandercook proof presses. The workshop is designed for people who
- want to rent Lead Graffiti's Vandercook presses for personal projects
- have access to colleagues or shops with Vandercook presses or
- own or would like to own a Vandercook press
We will be working with our handcranked Vandercook SP15 (printing area of 14" x 18") and automatic Vandercook Universal III (printing area of 18" x 24") which are great presses for designers, both for the ease of use and scale of the print area. At Lead Graffiti 95% of the work in our online portfolio is done on these two presses.
Topics that we cover include
- studio, press & paper cutter safety
- mechanics of a Vandercook, adjusting rollers, press makeready & packing the cylinder
- using furniture, quoins, keys, lockup bar, & roller guide
- locking up wood & metal types on a flatbed, locking up vertically and diagonally
- using photopolymer plates, woodcuts & linocuts, copper, zinc & magnesium plates
- paper (finishes, grain) & ink (oil based, rubber based), ink mixing
- printing, registration, image quality, evaluating a print, & directions for improvement
- straight printing, double rolling, double printing, added handrolling
- printing on manual, cycle, and run
- preparing artwork for a photopolymer plate & linocut / wood cut
- press clean up & maintenance
Typical projects for a Vandercook would include stationery ensembles, wedding invitations, posters (including poetry broadsides and artist prints), brochures, and small edition books. The SP-15 is a nice-sized cylinder press with a printing area of 14" x 18" and a maximum sheet size of 14.75" x 20". It is handcranked and gives you a good hands-on feel while you are printing. Though handfed, it is also quite fast as you can print about 240 sheets an hour. The Universal III prints an 18" x 24" image area on a maximum sheet size of 18.75" x 28". While the paper is handfed, it prints at the push of a button. This press has the advantages of a larger print size, improved registration accuracy (which is very important for work that requires double printing to achieve an absolute solid coverage), and a lack of physical effort when printing large sheets.
Completion of a technical workshop such as this one is a prerequisite for being able to rent our Vandercook presses for your own personal, commercial or student projects. While we are willing to help guide new renters through their first couple of jobs, it is important for you to quickly become self reliant, so taking good notes, asking lots of good questions, and staying in close during discussions and demonstrations is important. It is also important to note that we are a working studio, so reservations must be made far enough in advance to allow us to adjust our schedule and the time you reserve is finite. Additionally, we offer a number of workshops, but use of the Vandercooks will not interfere with some of them.
Those renting our equipment will also have access to our wood & metal type inventory (care must be exercised if producing deep-impression printing and for that we require the use of photopolymer plates and we use Boxcar for ours), two sizes of paper cutters, board shears, our ink inventory, perforator, paper drill, and a variety of other useful equipment. You must supply your own paper, although you may purchase any house papers which we have in stock. Rental charges are broken down into two categories—the presses and then the studio space. If you blocked off Lead Graffiti's use of the Vandercook SP15 for four hours (4 x $25 an hour) and then spent 4 hours mixing ink, using the cutter and perforator (4 x $10 an hour for the studio charge) your total cost would be $140. This charge can be paid by check or by credit card but must be paid the same day as the work was done. Additionally, you can pay ahead of time and then we'll bill against that, but you must be paid up at the end of the session.
Wear comfortable shoes, and work clothing.
Six projects printed on our Vandercooks
Clicking on the links in the project descriptions will take you to the piece in our online portfolio.
A calendar printed from photopolymer plates on our SP15. 7" x 10", each 3 colors.
Four posters from a set of 23 printed from handset wood & metal type, from our Tour de Lead Graffiti project on our Universal III. , 14.75" x 22.5", typically in 5 or 6 colors, with some of our handrolling technique.
A clamshell holding a soft and hardcover book that merges an essay by British author Nick Hornby and the lyrics of Bruce Springsteen's Thunder Road. A linocut image printed black on black and white on white adds a nice visual touch. Universal III. Approximately 7.5" x 7.5" folded.
Wedding invitation printed as a work and turn on our Universal III. 30" x 3.5", one color. We even printed the addresses via letterpress.
Poster / broadside for the American Printing History Association using our Univeral III. 18" x 24", with handrolling directly on the paper prior to printing the text. The lockup showing the wood type is on the left.
A set of A2 notecards (5.5" x 4.25") and belly bands printed 4-up for the Metropolitan Opera printed on our Universal III.