Trying out the BookBeetle to print a small edition of a woodcut. I lock the woodcut up in the wooden form with pieces of furniture and wooden quoins (all provided with a BookBeetle purchase). After attaching a new piece of frisket to the tympan and attaching both to the form, I inked up the woodcut and took a light impression to mark the frisket. I removed the frisket and using a craft knife cut out the inked portion, creating a protective covering for the printing sheet.
I am using Rives Lightweight, a very nice 100% cotton printing sheet. Lighter weight sheets work best with the BookBeetle, requiring less pressure. I look forward to trying Asian papers which I think will perform well. I position the sheet size on the book board tympan and glue on paper corners to hold the sheet. Two corner are sufficient, but I am thinking of using three when doing multicolor woodcuts to guarantee the best registration. (I am thinking about the three point registration used for Japanese multicolor woodcuts…the third point will prevent fishtailing of the sheet.)
A smooth, even inking with a brayer and a quick pull of the BookBeetle lever produces a beautiful print! Its a very satisfying process, requiring far less elbow grease than a baren and creating consistently good prints. Inking and packing can be adjusted to create interesting grades and multi-color effects.