Ambrose Li

Using Tomoe River paper on the Epson ET-4850

The other day I did a test signature on the ET-4850 using Tomoe River paper what I have been planning to be the real paper stock I’m going to use. Sheet 1 was a little crinkled, but it fell onto the floor, so I thought that was the cause. Spread 6 had smudging which I’d never seen with the regular paper which I thought suggests either I was using too much ink, or the ink didn’t have enough time to dry.

Then I carelessly did three more signatures using exactly the same settings.

While that was careless (if I suspected I was using too much ink or printing too fast, I should have tested a few different settings!), when it came out, I was even more surprised: half of spread 44 was printed in pure cyan, not the turquoise I was expecting to see.

I went to an art opening yesterday and mentioned I suspected this probably suggests I was using too much ink.

“Is this something you can control?”

“Yeah, this is probably something I can control.”

I was going to get more paper, unfortunately The Paper Place ran out of Tomoe River paper.

So today I was re-checking the three additional signatures I should not have printed, and noticed the last two sheets were missing. One blank sheet was still sitting in the cassette, and I double-checked there’s still two sheets of Tomoe River in the package, not one. So I thought maybe I should do my test early with the two or three sheets I can still print.

First surprise: I printed one sheet setting ink saturation to 90%; it was crinkled, although it did not drop onto the floor.

I suspected it’s probably not a good idea to have a single sheet of paper in the cassette, so I put a stack of the regular paper beneath the single sheet of Tomoe River, and printed it. Second surprise, no crinkling, but the colours were noticeably different.

I took out my copy of The Designer’s Dictionary of Color and checked the colour. At 80% saturation, the colour I got was actually a lot closer to the turquoise in the book, but still not the same. I have been using way too much ink all along, and I can reduce ink usage further.

A single sheet of Tomoe River is still sitting in the package. So, do I print spreads 49–50 at 70% ink saturation, or do I wait until I can get more paper?

Never mind, I changed the turquoise so it will never match.

Okay, I’m going to do the cover first. I need a cover, and a stitched-up prototype for my own use.