Subaru Piston Press

Engine, Oak, Acrylic & Aluminum

16" x 23" x 12" 


Based on the concept of compression, the Subaru Piston Press is a one of a kind press designed and built using recycled automotive parts with the intention of merging two of my loves, printmaking and machines, into one mechanical experiment.

With a background in aviation maintenance and classic auto, my thought process is mechanical by nature and my work follows suit by focusing on the individual parts and pieces that make up a whole. Having rebuilt a number of automotive engines, internal combustion cycles come second-nature, so when I discovered printmaking and it's need for pressure to transfer an image from block to paper, something sparked.

Created for the 2017 Southern Graphics Council International Tiny Press Round Up, the Subaru Piston Press uses the internal rotating assembly from a cracked 2.5L Subaru engine known as a “Boxer” motor. Using the synchronized rotation of the Boxer-style crankshaft, two of the original four pistons were welded to a 1/4" aluminum press-plate to distribute even pressure across an 8" x 14" printing surface.

Designed and built with conservancy in mind, the baseplate, frame and inking plate were engineered using Rhinoceros 3D software, then carefully cut down and assembled from a single board of red oak. 

Aside from the aluminum plates, acrylic sheets and assembly hardware, the press was created with the intention of recycling as much as possible from the motor to creatively repurpose old parts into useful features such as the press handle and brayer holder.

One man's trash is another man's printing press.

 - Live Printing Sessions -

2017 - 

  • Tiny Press Round Up, SGCI Terminus Conference, Atlanta, GA

  • Thieves in the Temple, Nth˚ Degree Gallery, Boone, NC

  • Under Pressure: The Print Exhibition, VAE, Raleigh, NC

2018 -

  • Cultural Chaos Market, Easthampton, MA

  • This is Armada, evo Denver, Denver, CO

  • This is Armada, evo Seattle, Seattle, WA

2019 -

  • Pop-up Raleigh, Trophy Brewing, Raleigh, NC

  • Pop-up Raleigh, Trophy Brewing, Raleigh, NC

  • Thrive ‘19, The Durham Fruit, Durham, NC

  • Party on the Blacktop, House of Hops, Raleigh, NC

  • Halfway to Hopscotch, R&D Brewing, Raleigh, NC

  • Party on the Blacktop, House of Hops, Raleigh, NC

  • Makers and Motors, Edge of Urge, Raleigh, NC

  • Hopscotch Day Party, The Outpost, Raleigh, NC


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