WHAT IS PRINTMAKING ANYWAYS?
Printmaking, an art form consisting of the production of images, usually on paper but occasionally on fabric, parchment, plastic, or other support, by various techniques of multiplication, under the direct supervision of or by the hand of the artist. Such fine prints, as they are known collectively, are considered original works of art, even though they can exist in multiples. - As defined by Britannica
- In the case of Red Bison Print Co, all artworks are produced solely by the artist and are either from original woodblock carvings, linoleum block carvings or in the form of letterpress via handset type or modern polymer plates, printed on an antique platen press.
WHAT PRESSES ARE USED BY THE ARTIST?
- For letterpress printing, we currently have a 5x8 Kelsey Excelsior table top platen press - and we love her so. Salvaged from an estate sale, this ol’ gal has been our most recent pride and joy. Rusty and dusty, we gave her a good clean and she’s back up and running and rollin’ up a storm for all things letterpress! She is small but she is mighty. With this small hand crank press, we are able to accommodate several types of bespoke announcement cards, wedding invitations, business cards and personalized stationary as well as greetings card like those you found on our website.
- For our various sized linoleum or wood block relief prints, we mainly use our roller press from The Portable Printing Press Company. With this press we can accommodate all hand carved prints up to a poster size A7 (36inx24inch).
Depending on the nature of the project and paper used, the artist does also tend to use solely her hands as tools too! Especially when printing tree ring stump prints, something quite small or when making a test print. Occasionally, to create a blend effect or color gradient the artist will often use her fingers, or a brush to “paint” ink directly onto the carving block.
Traditionally a baron designed for printmaking is used when printing by hand. A baron can often take the shape of many found objects in the home or studio, such as a wooden spoon or in our case, the tool of choice for hand pressing is actually an old plastic rice cooker spoon. Indication will be made in the description of each print when it has been printed solely by hand and the price may reflect that accordingly.
WHERE DID THE NAME “RED BISON PRINT CO.” COME FROM?
We get asked this question a lot actually. In her earlier years, as a printmaker-in-training at Warren Wilson College, the artist was given the assignment to create a studio name for her senior thesis print project. Being the proud natural redhead that she is, the artist wanted to weave that identity into the name of her artist studio.
HOW ECO FRIENDLY AND ECONOMICALLY CONCIOUS IS RED BISON PRINT CO?
Where ever possible, the artist has taken measures to reduce both studio and material waste. As of 2020, Red Bison Print Co. has consciously decided it is best for the business to make the move away from plastic. What does this mean for the studio and for you as a consumer?
- Ink: We use Caligo Safe Wash Relief inks on nearly every project that comes through our studio, including letterpress. This ink is oil based but has been modified for safe clean up and is washable with just every day soap and water (we use bio safe detergent too!) and does not require the use of harmful solvents nor does it omit harmful or toxic fumes (although we do stay well ventilated safety’s sake).
- Paper: Over the past year we have been experimenting with paper quite a bit and strive to use as much of recycled or post consumer card stock or tree-less paper as much as possible. We also currently stock renewable paper sources such as %100 cotton rag papers and bamboo paper for all of in house projects.
- Packaging: Our goal is to go completely plastic free by the end of the year 2021 and provide as many low waste, acid free and recyclable or compostable packaging options as possible. While more product research is still taking place, we do currently provide recycled (and recyclable) mailing materials such as ridged cardboard mailers and tubes, paper packing tape and tissue/ packaging. If you are a shop, business or wholesale customer and would prefer plastic sleeves for cards and prints please contact the artist directly via firstname.lastname@example.org and we can discuss the plant based cello sleeve options we have available. If you do receive plastic packing materials between now and the end of 2021, please note we are using up the last of our current stock received prior to making the switch. Please note that due to COVID-19 health concerns, in the case of in store re-stocks, we do still continue to use plastic protective sleeves to protect you, ourselves and our greetings cards.
- Paper Waste Disposal: One of the artist’s passion projects over the years has been the art of paper making. Whenever possible the artist saves as much usable paper waste accumulated from past projects in the studio to later be turned into paper pulp by hand for the artist to make a variety of bespoke handmade papers with. Past handmade options by the artist have included Japanese kozo paper (though this was not post consumer waste), native seed paper from scraps, jean scrap paper, recycled cotton paper from cotton clothing scraps, recycled cotton rag paper and even dryer lint paper! The options are endless and when there is enough paper waste to create more, it will be posted to our project inquires options!
Transparency: It is our goal to remain transparent about the products and materials that we use and welcome any questions, comments or suggestions you have about our business goals and practices. Please use our contact page or email directly at email@example.com