Mark Herschede is a printer. In my years of work in this field I’ve met many, but nobody has fully embodied the trade such as Mark. He’s incredibly knowledgable, kind, and just the right amount of obsessive. I knew this after working with him on the Astral Mind screen print in July, so when he invited me back for a residency I was sure to follow up.
My two weeks at Haven were a whirlwind of printing and Brooklyn energy, visits with my friends Arik Roper and Robert AA Lowe, and some late nights at the studio. It was fantastic.
I’ve always wanted to print on a larger scale with letterpress, so this was the core of the project. It evolved into an 11×15″ collection of 6 images with cover. And as you’ll see later in the post, we made a hand painted monoprint to be included with the book.
Mark has the equipment and knowledge to burn his own polymer plates. The oven-like unit exposes and washes the material with precise timing. Pictured below is Mark preparing one of the six resulting plates.
We used the Vandercook Universal 1 for the pages. The polymer is mounted on the base and printed with relative ease. This is how the six interior images were letterpressed.
The process for the loose print was very fun and experimental. The color was laid down by quickly painting with liquid acrylic and watercolor directly onto the screen. There were no exact guidelines, so it was a blind and gestural colorization. Once the paint was dry Mark was able to get 3-4 squegee pulls out of each. With a little transfer solution, the paint magically prints onto the Kitakata (Japanese Mulberry paper). Every transfer is different, from bold to subtle color. The blackline is then printed atop the color. This made for a very unique edition, exactly the type of experimentation that I love in printmaking.
The covers were printed on a larger Vandercook. We did a small black on black vignette on the front of the barrel fold and the colophon in silver on the interior back.
I then added a piece of vellum, did a simple hand stitch and tie, and signed and numbered the edition of 50.
Thanks to Mark and everybody at Haven Press!
You can purchase the book in the SHOP. If you have any further questions please shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Thanks for reading!