Green, Clean, and Ready for Printing: Zygote Press is on an Upswing

My mom always said, “If you want the house to smell good for guests, sauté an onion.”

 Moments before the doorbell, as a child, I would observe a surge of energy as my mother made last minute preparations for dinner guests. As shop manager, I can relate as I work to make Zygote Press fit for use. It is my goal to make Zygote Press a welcoming and useful environment for print makers of all skill levels. The beautiful thing is that as soon as you set foot in the shop, you become part of the community. And although we are not cooking-up potent veggies, we are taking major strides to make an efficient and healthy place for all users with order, space saving, and green policies in mind.

Zygote has cut way back on the use of solvents. Our policy is to clean ink slabs with vegetable oil and a water/vinegar solution. While mineral spirits still serves a purpose, we use it and other solvents sparingly. We have also replaced paper towels with reusable rags. And one of our rock star interns, Susanne Mitchell, lead the acquisition of a paper recycling dumpster in Zygote’s parking lot. Now all paper can be recycled onsite!

Zygote also recently acquired a new rosin box, built by our friends at Schwede L.L.C. which can accommodate an 18”x24” zinc or copper plate. This allows even the most inexperienced user to achieve fabulous aquatints. The box is leak-free, making it a very healthy tool. We also have a new hot plate perfect for the baking of rosin and grounds. Last spring we built a new, light-safe screen coating room; printers can now coat their screens and sleep peacefully knowing they will not be exposed to light while drying. Zygote is in the process of creating a communal screen inventory for all users, making screens available on a “sign-out” basis. This will allow users to experience the benefits of screen-printing without needing to purchase their own screens. Other improvements to the shop are a new pin-up wall, added locker space, as well a clean paper-tearing corner.

The cleaning frenzy I experienced from my mother growing-up was a testimony to the pride she had in her home and respect for her guests. Zygote is blessed with a slew of interns, willing to expel elbow grease for the betterment of the shop. Surrounded by staff dedicated to making Zygote the best it can be, I am proud be a part of the team that helps the engine run. Don’t be surprised if next time you’re in, you smell the sweet sauté of an onion.

Zygote Press

1410 East 30th Street

Cleveland, Ohio 44114


CLEAVLAND: works by 2013 Artist In Residence Andy Curlowe.

September 13 through October 23

Opening reception 6-9 pm September 13

FOREIGN AFFAIRS XVI: German artist Lucie Feynhagen and Christoph Rossner

October 12 through 19

Opening reception 1 to 3 pm Saturday, October 12

COLLABORATION Exhibition, curated by Indra Lakcis

November 1 through 30

Opening Reception 6 to 9 pm November 1

HOLIDAY Off the Wall Show and Sale

Noon to 5 p.m. Satuday, December 7

Noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, December 8