Intaglio Printmaking Techniques : Intaglio Printing Felts

I’m Jason Shoemaker at Slug Fest Printmaking
Workshop. I’m going to talk a little bit about setting up the press for Intaglio printmaking.
In Intaglio we rely on wool felt blankets to transfer the energy from the drum to our
printing matrix. There’s three felts. This is your starch catcher and this is going to
take any of the extra moisture from the paper as it’s actually printed, and it’s on bottom.
The second is your pressure felt and this actually is a bit thicker than the other ones
and it’s going to allow that paper to be molded down into the matrix and pull out the ink.
And the last felt is your pusher felt, and this one actually goes up against the drum,
is going to take the beating from the drum. It’s not a real beating but. It’s woven, so
it’s a little sturdier than the other felts. And when setting up the felts you want to
stagger them, like so. If you had them all square on top each other it would hit that,
it would hit the drum and it wouldn’t go under there, it would just keep pushing the felts
back. One thing I like to do when printing is keep the felts locked into the, under the
drum. This does a couple things. We got our felts staggered, buff them up to the drum
and run them through just a little, just so they’re hanging in there and they’re not going
to want to come back out. What this does, it locks them in there and it keeps them from
pushing back on your print. Once you have your print on there and your paper, if these
weren’t locked in there the whole thing would move and your registration and your paper
would be thrown out of skew. Now that that’s set up we got our felts locked in there, just
pull them over the drum and you’re ready to do some printing.


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