Monday, November 19, 2007

The sweet spot

and then there's those (uncommon) days where you set up the next woodblock and realise that it's a completely different height to the last one, and you spend half the day trying to get it to print ok. It's being very frustrating: smudges here, pressure lines there. It had to be padded, the rollers tweaked, the press bed raised and subtly lowered. So many variables...

You get to 3pm and think oh well, I'll get it set up and then edition it tomorrow -- oh damn, I can't tomorrow, I'm getting my hair cut and it's circus school day, I have to pick Bumblebee up at 3. oh well, I'll edition on Wednesday.

And then you print the perfect print. You've hit The Sweet Spot.

So you think, I'll just print a batch, and when the rollers fall down or it starts getting hard, I'll stop and do the rest on Wednesday.

But they keep printing well. You ring the partner, and yes, he can pick up child from after-school care. They keep printing well.

Suddenly it's 7pm and you know that if you just keep going they'll be finished, and you'll feel like a champion.

At 8.30 your son rings and wishes you goodnight wistfully as he goes to bed. Time to put something energetic on the stereo. So what if the security guard spies you dancing up and down beside the press?

Then it's 9.30 and you've finished 260 prints. But you don't feel like a champion. You feel old and tired, and the back of your neck is burning. That was a twelve-hour effort. And all you've eaten is a packet of chocolate buttons and four scotch finger biscuits. The sort of working day you'd only do for yourself, not for a boss.

But. They are are printed.

You can't even muster the energy to say hoora...


Poppy Letterpress said...

Oh dear. I thought printing days like that were something I would grow out of as I got more experienced. Good (or bad?) to know the experienced printers have days like that, too.

Where does BB goes to circus school? I'm in the circus ring myself... a bit... by association...

Oh, and TAG, you're it. See my blog :)

genevieve said...

A hundred quacks for you. Great stuff.

worldpeace and a speedboat said...

woo woo! there's nothing like being on a roll, even if it does mean you stop and fall down like a pile of poo. I love that print-run feeling. I miss it.