DIY Rembrandt Press
The huge, wood 17th Century all printing press at Rembrandts Museum inspired our Wee Woodie Rembrandt Press design based on a replica of the old-world press. This Do It Yourself and fully functional hand printing press made of wood is for all ages plus it has a USB flash drive for continuing education and linking to other resources.
UNIQUE PROPERTIES / PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
The design is a working printing press, made of wood for assembly by people young and old. This Do It Yourself toy printing press modeled after Rembrandt's 17th Century machine includes a wood printing plate inspired by Rembrandt. This working press lends itself to teaching the art of hand printmaking and history as well. A flash thumb drive in the woodwork can be connected to a device such as a Smartphone or tablet so users can download data provided free or follow links to online resources.
OPERATION / FLOW / INTERACTION:
The assembled press simulates the one used by Rembrandt, who made printing plates by etching lines in copper. Printers applied ink and put the plate on the press and laid paper over and a thick fabric for pressing. By turning the star wheel the plate on the bed moved between the rollers, pressing the paper into the ink lines and on the paper. To teach users about printmaking craft, art and history, print making expertise is stored in a USB thumb drive designed for connectivity to the internet.
PROJECT DURATION AND LOCATION:
The project began in Seattle USA in 2012 with a teaching intention. By design the original model was a miniature printing press for serious print makers plus being a desk model of the historic presses of the old world. Improvements developed for making the press easier for youth to assemble and operate. A USB flash memory drive was added and as a PressGhost which gives users access to printmaking techniques, eBooks stored in memory. links to online video demonstrations and other resources.
FITS BEST INTO CATEGORY:
Toy, Games and Hobby Products Design
PRODUCTION / REALIZATION TECHNOLOGY:
Wood working models were made from photos of printing presses dating back centuries, like the one used by Rembrandt. The scaled down design proved to be functional. Presses went to families to play-test; videos were shared in workshops with artists, toy and game designers. The press was simplified so that a CNC routing machine could be used to make it more affordable. This is a functional toy as well as a craft tool and with the USB flash memory drive for online resources and game connectivity.
SPECIFICATIONS / TECHNICAL PROPERTIES:
Length: 265 mm; Width: 125 mm; Height with wood base: 230 mm; Bed length: 265 mm; Bed width: 87 mm; Bed thickness: 12 mm; Roller lengths: 110 mm; Rollers diameter: 36 mm; Press weight: 1.2 kg; Bed width allows 75 mm printing plate; Top roller set to 40 mm from bed; 35 X 175 mm Pusher Blanket; 1 meter USB extension cable; 8 Gigabyte flash thumb drive.
Printing press, Rembrandt press, etching, print making, press making, press design, fine art, fine art printmaking, art toys, toy press
Fine art print making has gone beyond human scale and so youth are denied hands-on experience. Miniature presses and technology can remove the obstacles to learn and practice these arts; digital storage allows on-board digital information for art history and continuing education through e-books, links, interactive tutorials and serious games for printmaking teaching. The Do-It-Yourself movement shows that making a toy-like, working press will restore printmaking to learning about the arts.
Established art theorists and educators and business factors were limitations met. Add to this the commercialized fine art print market, with its old-world views of printmaking as cheap reproductions; the inventor had to overcome challenges in the course of developing a toy in the domain of industrial-strength practitioners. Only by detaching from the commonplace practices and joining with toy and game designers could a new frame of reference was found. A door opened to art education for youth.
TEAM MEMBERS (3) :
Designer Bill Ritchie, Engineer Ric Miller and Engineer Thomas Kughler
Image #1: Creator Bill Ritchie, Press with plate, 2014. Image #2: Creator Bill Ritchie, Press with print, 2014. Image #3: Creator Bill Ritchie, Press with devices, 2014. Image #4: Creator Bill Ritchie, Press disassembled, 2014. Image #5: Creator Bill Ritchie, Rembrandts PressGhost, 2014.
Video Credits: Produced entirely by Creator Bill Ritchie.