The huge question we get asked all the time is …
Can Gunning Etching Presses print any thickness of Relief printing plate and how?
The answer is yes, and we also show you how to do it as well and give you any support if needed to get you printing perfectly.
Including all thicknesses of letterpress, any woodblocks, including ply, cherry, pear, economy woods etc., lino including easy cut lino, Japanese vinyl, and traditional hessian backed lino, etc.…
Gunning Etching Press History
Our Gunning Etching presses were designed and built for the first time over 41 years ago because Dave Gunning, himself, wanted a press himself and there were not any on the market at that time that met all his requirements.
We have been building, selling, and using these etching presses ever since.
We are a family-run business and have a beautiful printmaking gallery and studios in Ironbridge where we make our own work and exhibit along with other printmaking artists from all over the world.
Our luxurious printmaking studio and Gallery in Ironbridge, houses a few of the different sizes of our Gunning etching presses, so that Jenny Gunning can make her own work as well as demonstrate the presses and run workshops for printmakers who have or are wanting to purchase our Gunning etching presses.
We make bespoke etching presses and not just Gunning etching presses. We also build aquatint boxes, hotplates, and other studio equipment as well as printmaking materials, etching press blankets, spindle rollers, hand rollers. Etching Ink, both traditional and caligo safe wash as well as Relief Inks both traditional oil-based and caligo safe wash.
Are you wanting to print thick plates on your etching press?
On our presses, you can fit up to 50mm through the rollers – the biggest gap on any press that is on the market. Dave Gunning made them this way when he designed them 41 years ago to make sure that if he wanted to print letterpress he could do. Now thousands of people all over the world are printing all sorts of relief plates on their Gunning Etching Presses.
And this is how to do it…
We provide printing runners with our presses – we have over 11 d
ifferent thicknesses that you can purchase from us, and will last you a lifetime.
One colour relief Print:
The trick is to use runners that are thicker than your plate and then pack your plate either on top or below to get the perfect print.
If you get the movement you need to use thicker runners and more packing and secure your plate down onto a board or piece of styrene, this sits on the press bed.
If you are doing large editions you might need to glue or double-sided tape your relief plate down onto a piece of 3mm or 4mm thick flat material like styrene, MDF, or hardboard. The piece needs to be bigger than your plate, this will give it stability.
But do not stick this down onto your press bed as it needs to move otherwise you get what looks like slipping.
It sounds very simple, and it is, thank goodness, but it took years of printing and finding out what does and does not work.
Lino Reduction and Multiplate:
When printing reductions and multi plates it gets a bit more complicated, we have a brilliant movie on our website that explains and shows how to do this.
As explained above for a single print (as an option if you are printing a lot from a plate) the plate that you’re working on needs to be glued or double side taped down onto a piece of 3 or 4mm thick flat material like styrene, MDF, or hardboard. The piece needs to be bigger than your plate, this will give it stability.
It’s a brilliant way to make sure you get perfect registration every time.
Make sure you pack from above though as the paper will start slipping on the later colours.