We have been printing on wood for quite a while now and wanted to share with you how we created our hand printed trays.  There are a fair number of processes involved in getting to the final product, so we'll break it down into a few postings. If you like this post, leave a note and we'll add detail as needed. [caption id="attachment_130" align="aligncenter" width="625"]Screen printed tray Blue tray[/caption] The original Susy started painting trays by hand. The tray below has been with us for years now and is an integral part of our home furniture. [caption id="attachment_112" align="alignnone" width="600"]painted tray Our original hand painted bread proofing tray 18" x 30"[/caption] We have a number of these old bread proofing trays that are made from rough, old wood. The bread dough is placed in the trays while it rested and begins rising.  Susy picked several of them up at the Brimfield antique market in western Massachusetts. As a variation on a theme and using a simple repeat stensil, it was possible to create an interesting surface design that formed the basis of the final design. [caption id="attachment_115" align="aligncenter" width="600"]A stensil surface design A stencil surface dot design on a large 24" x 30" tray[/caption] The trays themselves are made from hardwood sides and a simple thin plywood base to keep them light. The sides were finger jointed to be strong and interestingly added an interesting aesthetic that we wanted to maintain in the final design. Design and construction We selected poplar wood for the trays sides and baltic ply for the base.  Both these woods provide a clean smooth surface for printing.  The finger joints were deliberately overlapped to give a robust but yet interesting design feature.  The plywood bases are simply glued and nailed to the sides. [caption id="attachment_127" align="alignnone" width="699"]bread proofing trays Overlapping finger joints[/caption] We are delighted to see our trays are being used at Iggy's Bread of the World in their shop!  They are designed to be used and develop their own individual patena over time. [caption id="attachment_132" align="aligncenter" width="625"]Iggy's bread tray Tray in use in Iggy's shop[/caption] Next up, how to prep for printing on wood.