When Robin saw this little machine she thought it looked like a press. After setting it up she was astounded at how well it printed her waterless lithographs. Robin printed a photopolymer plate by adding a soaker
blanket offcut! Since then she has printed an aluminium etching, details below.
It is an affordable alternative to an A4 size etching press and weighs in at 5.8 kgs.
Use the thick base plate as your press bed. Robin covered hers with paper to protect the surface but you might think about covering yours with a clear acrylic sheet which can be wiped clean.
Watch this video to see how to unpack and set up the machine – the video goes on to die cutting but you can ignore that section.
Steps to print a photopolymer plate:
Set the pressure to 3 and use a soaker blanket. Vary pressure for thicker blanket. Ink the plate, use lightly dampened printmaking paper and print as shown at the right.
You have NO IDEA how opportune the Xpress information was.
I went with all speed to my local Lincraft, purchased one and have now printed an edition of my recent lino cut. Modifications for the lino thickness were: experimenting with the best pressure (6) and lining up 2 scraps of lino, front and back to stop the sudden ‘jump’ and it worked perfectly. I am SO happy.
Making prints with an X cut XPRESS Craft Machine
The little XPRESS was designed for die cutting but will print etchings, lino cuts and waterless lithographs very effectively.
Go to the Top Printmaking Tips page on Facebook to see helpful tips from Xpress users
Steps to print a waterless lithograph plate:
Set the pressure to 2. Roll up a waterless plate and place it face up on the bed, dry or damp printmaking paper over and a sheet of paper to cover. Run it through the little press.
Where to get one.
UK company, Handprinted has the Xpress with a long press bed and blanket BUT only for UK delivery: http://www.handprinted.co.uk/printmaking/relief-printmaking/Presses/xcut-xpress-with-extended-print-bed-and-felt
Handprinted co UK are also selling the felt and long bed together as an 'accessory pack': https://www.handprinted.co.uk/printmaking/drypoint/xcut-xpress-printmakers-accessory-pack
Print an aluminium etching on your Xpress:
Soak paper - this piece was soaked 30 seconds.
Setting on the XPRESS was 3.5 and the soaker (thin) blanket was used. Robin inked in Paynes Grey. Photos below for details
Place dampened printmaking paper over then the blanket and roll through the press.
Carmen Mountford's etching on the bed of her little Xpress. A $1 piece of felt from a craft shop acted as the blanket.
We think that this all worked rather well and best of all Carmen is now happily printing at home.
Robin showing the longer press bed she had made for her Xpress.
Robin printing with the XPRESS
HDPE POLYETHYLENE (CUTTING BOARD)
We located a local company in Sydney who deal in various plastics and had longer beds made for our little X presses from HDPE.
14 Cross Street, Brookvale, NSW, 2100
Unit 3/83 Wollongong Street
Fyshwick ACT 2609
If you find a supplier near where you live let us know and we will include a list on this page.