a nice thing about the paper-damping methods coming in is the little bits of extra information that come in with them - here's another, this time from Scott King at his Red Dragonfly Press in Northfield, Minnesota - let me say here tho that if other printers out there are reading this blog and would like to add their method to the mix, you are most welcome to do so - just email me (and of course pictures would be splendid) and I'll post it here - meantime, Scott says he'll try to do some pictures for this present post, and if he manages that, I'll add them when they arrive - Scott writes :
My method is about as simple as it gets, but it works.
Day one: Fill the sink with cold water. Interleave dry sheets with dipped sheets, for example 3 dry, 1 wet, 3 dry, 1 wet, and so on. Increase the number of dry sheets if the paper is thin or absorbs a lot of water; decrease if the paper is thick like watercolor paper. When I dip a sheet, I pull the entire sheet by one edge through the water, then lift it out and let the excess water run off before placing it in the stack. When the stack is ready [i.e. completed] I place it in a garbage bag and close the bag with a tie or tape. (IMPORTANT: let the dampened stack of paper sit in the garbage bag without any weight on top of the sheets for at least several hours. This will prevent the paper from wrinkling as it expands.) After the sheets have sat in the bag for several hours, place some flat weight, either large books or a case of type, on the sheets overnight. This assures that the moisture transfers from the wet to the dry sheets and equalizes amongst all the sheets.
Day two: I try to make sure the print shop is somewhat humidified, in Minnesota, in winter, the dryness can be downright frightening. When printing I remove a sheet from the plastic bag, print it, then place it in a second plastic bag, minimizing the amount of time it has in the open so that it doesn't dry out. (IMPORTANT: less ink is needed on the press to print on dampened sheets.) After all the sheets are printed, they are placed between cotton blotters so that they dry flat. Drying time varies.