We’re a full service letterpress and risography publishing service located in Houston, Texas. Begun in 2008, Mystic Multiples exists to produce challenging, new work in print for designers and artists.
Our work is printed on a pair of N series Kluges, which were created in the wake of World War I by Brandtjen and Kluge, of Saint Paul. In letterpress, rollers laden with ink pass over the face of a relief plate, and then stamp into the surface of the paper to transfer that ink. The result is a relief print that highlights fine detail and line work. Although mainly remembered for it’s use in wedding stationary, we’re strong proponents of using letterpress to create multicolor artist prints and ephemeral items.
For Risography, or “high-speed-duplicator-work”, we use a Riso GR3750. Risograph prints are a cross between screen printing and mimeograph, and print quickly while sacrificing alignment and coverage. There’s a limited palette of ink colors available, and for those who can find creativity in constraints, it’s our least expensive way to get work published.
We’re open to the public, and happy to help you plan out your next project.
A word about prints…
There’s a lot of confusion out in the world today about what constitutes an original print. Even the term itself can be misleading; how does something exist as a multiple and an original at the same time?
On top of this, it seems like every day brings a new offering from giclée printers. With terms like “Open Edition,” “Limited Edition,” and “Print on Demand” floating around out there, it’s difficult to know exactly what you’re getting when you purchase a print.
Well, here at Mystic Multiples, we’re proud to be print nerds. All of our original prints are just that– originals!
There’s something magical about working within constraints. I’ve seen work which entails 100’s of screens, and those prints are amazing. I’ve also seen simple two color designs which can hold their own against full color work. I think it says a lot about how important limiting one’s self during the creative process is to creativity in general. With too many options, ideas are miscommunicated and ultimately lost. Printmaking’s direct connection between labor and complexity imposes a discipline on the spot color process that helps us create better work than we could ever produce in a “press print” environment.
Screen printed works are printed with a squeegee, ink, and a screen, under the oversight of a printer. Every color you see in a finished work represents an individual pass of the squeegee, a separate stencil, and a hand-mixed batch of ink. It’s a labor-intensive process, but we feel there’s still something to be said about using your hands to create something.
Letterpress work has to be imposed by hand on a printing base within a chase, and registered to the sheet it’s printed on. Ink is distributed evenly across the surface of each plate– too much, and the image smears. Too little, and areas show a blank area across the impression. As with screenprinting, each color in the finished product represents another run through the press. And again, “Yes!– There is something unique about doing it by hand!” No two prints will ever be exactly the same, though we pride our letterpress work on its ability to hold exact registration and consistency despite the press’s 80+ year old age.
With our Risograph process, we’ve added a curious bridge between stencil printing and digital copier. The Riso printer uses a soy based ink to print on uncoated paper through a paper stencil. Although many of the tasks relating to inking and feeding paper through this press are automated, it still requires careful calibration and attention in order to produce results we can stand behind. After each run, the paper stencil is automatically destroyed, and the resulting prints are numbered and editioned to prevent forgeries and keep this process in line with our support for traditional printmaking completed via nontraditional means.
That’s our two cents. Thank you for visiting!