Roller Engaving - Part 2 November 26 2014
Last week I wrote about receiving the digital proofs for my wallpaper designs and changing some aspects to finalise ready for the rollers to be engraved.
This week I received images showing the process of creating the rollers which was really fascinating to see, mostly because I was finally getting somewhere with making my wallpaper a reality. Can I call myself an artist yet?!
Anyway, I digress. Here we can see a blank roller ready to be engraved.
Not much to look at at this stage.
These next images show the laser burning away the rubber. I bet that's a delightful smell!
Here you can see the design showing, but still covered in rubber dust. The laser burns away everything outside the design down by about 2mm, leaving the design in relief.
The roller is washed before being tested on a proof. This raised design is what is inked to create the wallpaper pattern, shown below in 'The Froghoppers Reflection'.
All I have to do now is make a final decision on colours and my wallpapers will be born...
Roller Engraving - Part 1 November 24 2014
I'm halfway through the journey of printing my first batch of wallpapers. Allow me to invite you into my brain and see what's been happening this week!
As I may have mentioned before I have decided to print my wallpapers flexographically. Screen printing wouldn't capture the level of detail in my inky drawings and digital, well, it's just not quite as satisfying as the traditional methods.
I sent my digital files off to the engravers and they sent me back some proofs in the post. This was a great way for me to see my designs in the correct scale and play around with a few colour options.
There were a few changes to be made straight away.
Detail from 'Beetlenut'
The scale of 'Beetlenut' has now been halved and the horizontal gap closed. I added more beetles and flowers to 'The Froghoppers Reflection' which meant going back to the drawing board a few times.
Detail from 'The Froghoppers Reflection'
"The Tangled Hawkmoth' was originally the one I was least pleased with, but it turns out it was also the one I didn't have to change anything on.
Detail from 'The Tangled Hawkmoth'
I chose to print my designs flexographically because it best suited my style of drawing. Screen printing would have inevitably missed some of the finer details. Digital is a great, modern way to print with many advantages. One being that you can often mix and match designs and have very low minimum order quantities. I may still use digital printing for custom orders. This means I will still be able to offer people other colour ways in addition to my main range.
However, I also chose flexographic printing for the colour options. Specifically, metallics. I wanted those rich gold, silver, copper and brass hues that I just couldn't get with digital printing. I was also really pleased that I could keep the manufacturing in the UK and support our local economy whilst reducing the need for sending my products overseas which only adds to a company's carbon footprint.
Next week I'll show you the step by step process of my rollers being engraved. I still have to finalise colours, then the printing begins!