Monday, 28 December 2009

Questions about the Letterpress tool kit

As some of you know QVC is a shopping channel that is live, no pre-recordings. Everything is timed so it's not like a Youtube video or a tutorial when you can edit and explain in detail all aspects of the machine or tool.

At the 7pm show, Dawn saw that I was really nervous so she guided me through, something that I really welcomed as I was literally shaking. We only had a few minutes with that product, it was at 11 when we had more time to actually talk about the letterpress tool. But it is nerve wracking, I am so used to talk and talk at a demo without any time constrains that I found a bit hard to just have a few minutes to actually tell how it all work. I wish I had a full hour just to talk about it as I think the Letterpress tool from Quickutz is an absolutely brilliant tool.

So, I am sorry I didnt get to address certain issues or questions about the machine, I only got them this morning through some forums! If someone had pass them on to me I would have tried to answer them in a more clear way on air. There were so many things I wanted to mention on air but being the first time ever on live on QVC demonstrating, I wasn't sure if I was allowed to mention certain things.

But I can address some of them now:

Inks, if you are doing a short run, Brilliance pads and Black versafine work brilliantly, much easier to clean afterwards, a simple baby wipe works really well. For a long run (ie, loads of prints exactly the same, which incidentally is the main purpose of the tool) the letterpress ink with the roller is better as it's very good value for money and the ink stays wet a very, very long time. One obvious tip, whatever ink you use (brilliance ink pads or versafine) you can dab it directly onto the printing plates, however you will get the best results using a brayer.

Cleaning the letterpress inks, the best way by far that i have found is using Herma Label Off, maybe other sticky stuff remover also work, but I haven't tried myself. It really works. I know that Quickutz, the makers of the Letterpress tool, have develop a wet wipes for the ink, as of now they are very hard to get hold of in the UK. To be honest I haven't tried them myself so I can not comment on how they compare to the Label Off.
EDITED: Un-Du also works really well, so I am kind of sure now that any liquid that removes well sticky stuff will help to clean the Letterpress inks. Thanks to Ani now we know that Crafters Companion Stick Away also works.

Card to use, as long as it is thick and soft will work, something like watercolor paper and 300gsm and above if you want a very deep impression. The one that comes in the kit is extremely thick and soft, so you get amazing results.

You can also use embossing folders to just print the pattern if you open them up and attach with the adhesive film to the top of the letterpress tool, perfect print impression, although they wont emboss at the same time.

About the cracking of the plates, I only got one set of plates and used it over and over, and they have not cracked, so I cant really comment on that.

Another tip is to use a repositionable wet glue -such as the Slice one- in the back of the printing plates, apply with a foam brush or an eye makeup tool, let it dry and you can use them time and time again, much better than the double sided sticky film supplied with the tool, which incidentally works great with the larger printing plates such as the 6" x 6".

I have a very old Cuttlebug, about three and a half years old, and I have made most of my samples shown on my Cuttlebug, even though I also have a Big Shot that it is right beside it.the letterpress tool is about 2mm to wide where the hinges are for the cuttlebug, so I feed the letterpress tool open side first forwards to the end just before where the hinges are, and then I roll it backwards. I am not sure why, but even though I had the Big Shot right beside me, I kept using the Cuttlebug for the letterpress. Obviously, the Epic Six works very well with it too, I just don't have one in my house, but I used one of them all day long at QVC and liked it a lot.

One of the listed beauties of the Letterpress effect is on the back side of the printed card there is no visible mark of the debossing effect. That is very different from the effect that you get when you emboss something with an embossing folder, as both sides -inside and outside- are clearly embossed/debossed. Bruising is what sometimes happens on the back of the front of the letterpress card. Basically, due to the thickness of the card plus the pressure of the plate, some gentle impression is visible. I have got some professionally made letterpress stationery that also has got that showing off on the back. In the printing world they call it bruising, and it is acceptable.

Also, there were some questions about what you got as extras on the QVC deal. The QVC item number for the Quickutz Letterpress with printing Plates, Inks, Cards and envelopes is 588749. The QVC deal includes the Lovely Everyday set 2 of 10 printing plates, 10 A6 envelopes, 10 square cards and 10 coordinating envelopes, 4 adhesive sheets, and the Gold and silver ink, all of which do not come with the standard off the shelf Letterpress Starter Kit.

Overall, after playing with it for long hours and demonstrating on live tv, I can honestly say that if you like using die cutting machines, this is a great addition to the craft world. I specially love the size of the 6 x6" printing plates -wider that any embossing folder- and the fact that you can emboss them without any ink. I also love the designs of the plates, they have that elegant, simple look that Quickutz are renowned for.

If you do have questions please ask them and I will try to answer them the best way I can.

4 comments:

Rustyhammer said...

Thank-you! I thought you were great on qvc, shame it was all very rushed, and in my view not enough time to do the machine justice.

Lavinia said...

Fantastic!!! I had seen the Letterpress early on on QVC craft day and though it looked ok-ish! However it was not until your demonstration I decided to buy one! You were great & explained it wonderfully, you should be very proud of yourself, you were clear precise & a bit of a natural in my eyes!! I cant wait to get mine thanks to you!! well done!

Lavinia

Penny said...

I thought you did very well on TV! It was a shame you were rushed but the 11 pm slot was better and you did not look too nervous at all! Thank-you for answering the questions I had about cleaning and Brilliance Inks.

I ordered a starter kit and also the everyday set of dies - I can't wait for them to arrive!

Penny

crafty flossie said...

Thank you! Your explanation, hints and tips are welcomed. I have put the letterpress on my birthday list. Looking forward to seeing more creations.
Debbie M

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