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  • Writer's pictureMatt Reno

Print Frog Glass Baren Review

Updated: Aug 22, 2021

I recently celebrated my 40th birthday, and along with delicious takeout Thai food and pie with the family, I was also treated to an awesome gift from my wife. I've got to hand it to her, it was one of those gifts I didn't even know existed at the time but was completely psyched about nonetheless.

She did some research into printmaking supplies and discovered Iron Frog Press and their Print Frog Glass Barens. More than just art tools, the barens themselves are works of art. Print Frogs are made of hand-blown recycled glass and come in a wide variety of styles. It's the kind of tool you won't stash away between printing sessions. I now keep mine on my desk as part of the room decor.

Ok, it looks nice, but does it work? Yep! The smooth, round handle fits perfectly in the palm of your hand and creates a comfortable but sturdy grip. It's heavy enough to provide enough pressure for an evenly inked print, meaning you can ease up on the elbow grease. Best of all, I was amazed at how smoothly this baren glides across the paper. For a second, I thought I was communicating with a ghost via Ouija board.

Yes, these items are pricey, so they're for dedicated printmakers. If you're just starting out, you'll be fine with a Speedball baren or a large spoon from your kitchen. But if you're frequently hand pressing prints, why not upgrade to a high quality piece of equipment? For a solid blend of craft and functionality, I highly recommend gliding along with a Print Frog.

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