My Granny is a very resourceful and creative person and doesn’t like things to go to waste and so during one of my ramblings about printing and how I simply couldn’t get on without a press of my own, she told me that hidden away in a shed at her old house was the mangle she used to use as a young girl. I have seen a couple of mangle conversions and the wonderful prints it can produce, and so over the summer I sent my Collections Man (my Dad with his trailer) to go and collect the old mangle and bring it home.
Since the summer when the mangle arrived at Slamseys, I have been lucky enough to have a retired printer have a look at it (another friend of Granny’s) and with a lot of help here and there, lots of WD40, dismantling, reassembling and screw tightening – I now have a fantastic printing press!
After a bit of experimentation, we have got enough pressure to be able to make intaglio drypoint prints – which is one of my favourite ways to print. By using a clear plate, it is really easy to trace and scratch your designs into the plate, and once the plate has been inked it’s ready to go through the mangle.
It’s a bit of a workout to move the rolls, but the finished prints are definitely worth it – wonderfully simple, but very effective. In the New Year, once I’ve had time to do a little more fine tuning I’ll be running Drypoint Mangle Printing workshops at Slamseys Art – but until then I’ll have lots of time to keep playing with my new favourite toy!