We have just released the Evolution TLR serigraphs and thought you’d like to know what went into the making of these beautiful prints.
First, a serigraph is a screen-print print made by the silkscreen process. A screen works much like a stencil, with ink being pushed through it and onto paper. Parts of the screen are blocked out creating blank or negative space on the paper. Meanwhile, the ink passes through the porous parts and onto the paper beneath, creating an image. A different screen is required for each color being printed. The Evolution TLR serigraphs are three-color prints.
The concept for the Evolution TLR serigraph came from our desire to document the history of these cameras, the high-points and evolution over time. It was no easy task narrowing our list down to the fifteen best.
Each camera was then hand drawn. The illustrations were subjected to an iterative review process to make sure they were accurate down to the smallest details. One of the great things about this serigraph is that it invites you to look closely at each camera. From a distance, the similarity in the architecture of the cameras dominates the eye. Move a little closer though, and a new, more interesting perspective emerges.
Once all the artwork and the composition was complete, our printers - Kayrock Screenprinting - in the Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn took over. We chose to work with high quality Coventry Rag paper. This paper has been manufactured in the U.S. since 1971 and is particularly well suited for screen-printing. Since we chose to offer the serigraphs in silver and red editions, the originally white paper had to be ‘flooded’ in those colors.
The background ink for the silver print was mixed with aluminum paste to give it a gorgeous metallic quality.
During ‘flooding’, the paper will shrink or expand. However, once the ink dries, the size of the paper is locked in and it is ready for printing.
The craft of printmaking has almost everything to do with making sure the ink goes where it’s needed. First, the press is cleaned, calibrated and adjusted to make sure the blades that spread the ink over the screen are running smoothly and consistently.
The screen is registered (aligned exactly) in the press and printing begins, with each sheet of paper placed by hand into the presss. First the paper was flooded. Next, the typography was printed (to make the white typography 'pop', we gave it two coats of white ink. Finally, the cameras were printed.
In between each color, the prints were laid to rest on a drying rack. These serigraphs are three-color, meaning they were in and out of the press three times with long periods of drying in between.
When all the printing was completed, the prints were trimmed using a heavy-duty late 19th-century paper trimmer.
As a final step, we blind stamped each print with a custom Dodge & Burn seal.
The finished serigraphs came out beautifully, even better than expected. We're having a hard time deciding which is our favorite, red or silver. Which is why we sincerely recommend people buy both editions!