Sunshine Print Artspace has a number of professional quality printmaking presses in the studio for artists to use along with other pieces of equipment available to artists and printmakers.
Each of these presses has a particular purpose and have been designed according to that purpose but all of them have one thing in common. They all help the printmaker transfer an inked image onto a chosen surface such as paper or cloth.
Large format Etching Press. This is a modern press made by Melbourne Etching Supplies and is used to print Intaglio prints etched into copper (although we also use it to print large format woodcut prints as well). This type of press was invented many centuries ago. By turning the wheel and passing the 500 kg metal bed between the rollers an adjustable amount of pressure is exerted on an inked surface and transfers the image to the paper.
Albion Press. These were once common presses used for printing news media. They represented cutting edge technology back in the day and were used all over the world. This Albion Press was manufactured in England over 160 years ago and we use it to make relief prints such as linocuts or woodcuts. The inked surface and a carefully positioned piece of paper js put on the bed and rolled under the platen. The lever is pulled and the pressure of the platen being pushed down onto the bed transfers the image to the paper.
Screen Printing Presses. Screen printing was originally a commercial printing process that was made famous in an arty way by the American POP artist Andy Warhol. We have three different sized screen printing presses at SPA and many different sized silk screens. Although there are many ways to use these presses and silkscreens they are mostly used to print on paper using photographic stencils that have been made in our large, purpose-built darkroom.
Lithographic Presses. These, like the Albion Press, are antique but still very usable to modern printmakers that want to print using a very special stone as the printing surface. Lithography relies on the principle that oil and water repel one another. The stones are very rare and have a limited life since each time a new print is made the old one has to be ground away. Consequently, the stone becomes thinner over time. The Melbourne Museum has a similar press to the smaller of the two we have at SPA. Their press was brought o Melbourne from England to print musical scores.
Textile Printing Tables. There are two 5 x 1.20 metre textile tables. Printing onto cloth is done using the silkscreen method or by pressing inked block prints down onto the textile surface. The tables are long so that continuous lengths of cloth can be printed without having to cut the fabric.
4 Colour Carousel. Perfect for t-shirt printing or placements prints onto textiles. The carousel enables you to print 4 colours wet on wet, so just the thing for tightly registered designs and production runs.
Light Boxes. We have 2 light boxes for checking or creating colour separations on film or other artwork,