Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Risograph demons

Been hard at work trying to get the new Risograph stencil duplicator up and running, after being so frustrated with it's condition that I could barely even look at this beautiful monster in my studio. For a hefty price, I bought it off Ebay from a guy who said that it was in "perfect working condition," and was "guaranteed," but upon arrival, I could tell that things were not as he said. A lengthly process ensued with Ebay (a complete disaster and total joke- I have no faith in their "resolution center"), which has led me on a magical journey into the complicated bowels of this thing. WD-40, a tiny hex set and a 450 page tech service manual have been a major part of the process of getting it up and running, as well as some help from my sweetie, Johnny, who is more mechanically inclined. 

I've already spent about five solid days trying to clean up totally dried out screens and have only recently started to mess with THE TIMING issue. TIME! Always a source of complaint in my life, so it makes sense that I'd have to spend time working on timing, meanwhile trying to keep the frustration at bay as my personal workload piles up and I'm covered in solvents and ink. No one has ever said that owning and maintaining printing equipment is a walk on the beach, by any means. This is the trade off for being able to print whatever and whenever I want, right? Right? I've learned that I can't do any of this unless I'm fully caffeinated and have snacks around, otherwise, I'm a hot mess and start thinking about taking a sledgehammer to everything. I won't do it, but this is what tinkering can do to you, especially if you're unsure of what you're doing...

After some debating over what certain diagrams and instructions meant, last night we were able to adjust it enough to get it to print a partial print, which is considerably better than it not doing anything at all. It's always a neat process to demystify complicated machinery and with the encouragement from Johnny and my fellow nerds on the Riso list-serve, I've felt more empowered to crack my machines open and tinker on them. Fingers crossed that I can get this new machine operable in the coming weeks, which will mean that I can print 11X17 and will have 5 more colors to work with! 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Late Era Clash #25

Epic new publication by Mike Taylor that we finished this week- so incredibly awesome! 
Get it while you can via Etsy or Big Cartel.