For months, I've been thinking about purchasing an Xcut Xpress. I've seen a few printmakers on line using this die cutting craft machine for a printing press. One artist, Colin Blanchard has done a lot of experimentation with this small machine and has even put together some great YouTube videos. Check out his site. Anyway, I finally ordered one.
I found it on Amazon for a decent price because they said the box was slightly damaged. That was an understatement! I was concerned when I saw the condition of the box, but after unpacking and checking it out, the unit seemed fine.
Since today is Print Day in May, I thought it was the perfect time to spend some time in the studio playing with my new toy.
First I needed to find some blankets. Digging through my fabric stash I found some scraps of hot pink craft felt that I had used to make a cape for my granddaughter.
My first test was with a Sintra plate. This lightweight PVC board can be used in a number of ways and for this test, I laid a few objects on the surface and ran it through the press. I inked the plate up as a relief using Speedball water based relief ink. After some experimenting, I found that the 5 setting on the Xcut worked perfectly.
Success! The bed rolled through the press fairly easily and I ended up with a decent impression with one pass. I printed on a dry sheet of Arnham paper. Next test, an intaglio plate.