Discover how Axelle Fine Arts approaches the printmaking process and why it continues to rely on traditional methods.
I had the opportunity recently to interview Luther Davis, the director of the print shop, and give Screen Printing magazine’s readers a chance to learn more about the operation and the current state of the art world of screen printing, at least as it pertains to 312 Atlantic Ave., in the old Boerum Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY.
Luther, can you start by giving us a bit of background regarding Axelle Editions and how you started?
In late 1999, Bertrand bought the assets of Noblet Serigraphie from Jean-Yves Noblet. At this time, I was a master printer at Noblet Serigraphie and was asked to direct the new printshop. We moved into the beautiful, but neglected, National Cash Register Co. building. It took three semis to move the Sias PSMatic, UV drier, take-off, Seybold paper cutter, racks and other equipment to Brooklyn, and it was all swung in the windowless third floor by crane. We did not have power or water for three months as the building was being renovated, but we printed etchings while we waited.
What kind of printing equipment do you have?
We started with a Brand 35 x 60 etching press, and a 63 x 48 Sias PSMatic, with take-off and Sias Uvex drier. In 2002, we added an M&R 30 x 40 Saturn, and in 2004, we added a 30 x 40 AWT High-Tech Micro. We also have a 20 x 30 Acromark hot stamper, and an 8500-lb. Seybold paper cutter. Our screen-washout room is completely sealed and tiled with built-in floor drains, and the entire layout and set up was purpose-built—one of the advantages of working with a completely gutted space when we put the print studio together.
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