Thursday, February 12, 2009

etching on polymer plate created from a drawing

Pukaskwa: Ancient Rock
Polymer Intaglio

I have a new print derived from a pencil sketch on paper. It is a study of a section of rocky shoreline found while exploring Pukaskwa National Park on Lake Superior.

This rock is over a million years old and has unique striation, textures and colours in it. The linework of the original sketch developed quite nicely into the surface of my solar plate (polymer based). My plan is to add some mineral pigment watercolour into the rock and also bring out pools of water with reflected sky and a few potentilla and blueberry shrubs that are not as visible in the black and white version.

I scanned the drawing, lightened the image a bit and saved it as a file on my pc. Then it was printed onto an inkjet transparency sheet through my Epson inkjet printer (by activating the black ink only setting in the grayscale option). A few more details were added onto the dried transparency with a fine point black sharpie marker. (fig. 1)

fig. 1
The polymer plate (solar plate) was exposed to UV light in my exposure unit first with an aquatint screen for 2.5 min and then that was removed. The positive transparency then was set on and exposed for 2.5 min. I immersed the plate in water bath and gently scrubbed the surface using a soft bristle tooth brush for around 2 min. The plate was blotted with newsprint and then warm air blown on it's surface from a portable hand held hair dryer to evaporate the remaining moisture. You want to ensure that no water marks remain as they will affect the print quality.

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