The film negatives for my book arrived, which means I was able to spend my day making photopolymer plates and then proofing. I'm still concerned about getting done in three weeks, but this feels like a major hurdle overcome, and the Center recently acquired a new platemaker which is incredibly speedy! I made and proofed eleven plates in just a handful of hours, and I was even taking my sweet time. After the plates are exposed, washed out, and dried, they need to be post-exposed to ultraviolet light for a stretch, which makes them more durable and less susceptible to damage. Photopolymer plates can be metal-backed or plastic-backed; the metal ones get mounted onto a large magnetic base, while the plastic ones get attached to a sheet adhesive and stuck onto an aluminum base.And from there, you can pull a proof! This is the letterpress-printed version of the same lettering I pictured in my last post. I did proofs on tracing paper so that I can cut them down to size and get a clearer sense of how the waxed Japanese paper will function. And this image is an updated mock-up from one of my earliest posts about this project. It makes such a difference to see the actual text in place rather than a cut-and-pasted mock-up. I'm not completely done with this process because I decided at the eleventh hour to do a couple images that are 18" wide, which I need a full-size sheet of polymer in order to make. So I am still waiting on that, but I'll be headed back in tomorrow to get the actual printing underway. Fingers crossed!