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Lincoln, the Constitution and the Civil War Exhibit: Creating the Print

Steven Lee-Davis' Process for Creating the Lincoln Print

Step One

First Identify the reference image, make numerous sketches in pencil and pen, and then redraw the image onto the block. In this case, I am using a 4 by 6 inch maple block that has been milled to .918 of an inch and sanded with 2000 grit sandpaper.

Step Four

After completing the cutting of the block and proof printing it, I turn to type setting. In this case, I am setting the text by hand using metal type. Since the letters are stuck backwards and I am setting upside down, I really do need to mind my P's and Q's.

Step Seven

Inking the Press




Step Ten

A good print of the text.

Step Thirteen

Checking to make sure the alignment and impression is good.

Step Sixteen

Deboss printing of the Roycroft chop and studio name.

Step Two

I recheck my block drawing looking for areas that may not translate in the cutting process. Revise, revise!

Step Five

Locking the type into the Vandercook cylinder press.


Step Eight

First round of typographic errors and poorly impressed type.

Step Eleven

Letting the text dry.

Step Fourteen

Letting the image dry.

Step Seventeen

Sign and deliver the prints on schedule!

Step Three

Begin cutting.



Step Six

Double-checking my alignment.

Step Nine

Second proof revealing more errors.

Step Twelve

Locking up Mr. Lincoln in the press.

Step Fifteen

Locking up the Roycroft chop and my studio name.