Donald Kilpatrick
July 2009
New series of letterpress posters.
So I finally had some time to carve out some lino-blocks, buy some 11x17 chipboard, and really put the Nolan proof press to use.  Before I got into a complex print, I wanted to test and see if there was a way to accurately register my images, and I noticed that the press has pegs on each end of the press bed, so I spent some time going through the process of trial and error creating a tympan that I could hinge to the pegs.  It took me a couple of tries to get something that works, and this has made it possible for me to print multiples without too much of a headache.

The difference between a proof press and my other press is that one has to ink before each impression, and each impression is really one of a kind. Rather than having a plate made for each poster I simply bought linoleum already mounted to a board that is almost “type high”.  It was very therapeutic carving the linoleum, and not too time consuming. I added padding below the image block, and used paper as improved blankets over the top to make an even impression as I pulled the cylinder across the image block. Hand inking the block allows you the freedom of improvising that other presses don’t.

I have these posters for sale through  You can check them out over there by clicking here.

Thanks for stopping by!

Carving out the buffalo block
another block in process.
First run on the "WEEPS" block...
My first attempt at creating a "Tympan" for the press. For those who aren't familiar with the tympan, it is just an area where you can secure the paper or material to be printed on. It helps you register multiple color for your print. It helps eliminate guesswork.
I got the tympan right after a few tries, and here i am loading in a piece of chipboard to print on.
All inked up and ready to print. Note the extra wood furniture, or blocks that i can leave on the press bed. Doing this doesn't harm the press because it isn't "type-high". I leave this in there in case i need to use a different sized block or plate.
A very simple process of printing. Just pull the cylinder across the area to be printed.
Hand inking your plate allows for a more painterly like feel to the image. Working in this manner allows for each impression to be one of a kind, and keeps it interesting.
The twins block ready for printing. I coat the lino block in ink so i can see what i am craving away. Doing this doesn't harm the plate or press, it usually washes away when i clean up the block after printing.
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