Novice Technique Question

Hello. I’m a total novice and would like to learn to do something specific. Before I go aimlessly taking classes I thought perhaps someone might be able to steer me in the right direction.

Can anyone tell me how these plates are produced? (example I’m using is from Tisselle)

Are they photopolymer? And can you use plates like these on tabletop presses?

And I have one other question … can you letterpress on top of photography? If I had some photos printed on rag could I press on them?

Thank you so much for your help.

image: bp_green_tiselle.jpg


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You can letterpress on top of pretty much anything, as long as you can get it on a press. Type of paper might dictate whether you need something like Tough Tex, which will air dry, or rubber or oil base inks which will absorb into the paper.

The images you show are almost certainly photopolymer. They could be magnesium plates, but odds are on photopolymer. You can contact a place like Boxcar Press to have plates made. You’ll need a base to put the plate on. Boxcar also sells those in sizes that would work on the tabletop. You’ll need to be careful how you set up the plate/base in your chase so you don’t end up smashing gauge pins when the platen closes.

Depending on where you are located, there are many book arts organizations that teach printing from photopolymer plates, whether on a larger Vandercook proof press or smaller platens. If you’re a total novice, I highly suggest you take one. It’ll save you a ton of time once you get on press.

I don’t know where you are located, but I have two workshops scheduled in the latter half of June. My studio is in Sacramento, CA. You can phone me at 775-225-0014.

Yes, you can print on virtually anything, but…
if the paper-textile or whatever, has any uneven thicknesses, you will smash your type.