Solarplate Online How to:
Artwork may be created with liquid opaque paint or ink, light-stopping making devices, rubylith films, lithographic crayons and certain black pencils, or found objects. The image is created on transparent acetate, mylar, Xerox or a glass surface. This "transparency" is used as a contact positive or negative for either intaglio or relief. Artwork can be created by hand drawing, computer printout, or with photographic methods.
Artwork can be created by hand drawing, computer printout, or with photographic methods
When exposing with the sun, set up your Solarplate indoors, and away from direct sunlight. If the artworks contains large areas of black, subtle grays, or is photographic, it is advisable to use the "Double Exposure Technique."
First, place the Aquatint Screen, emulsion face down, in direct contact with the plate. Sandwich the plate and screen between thick plate glass and a foam backing with a rigid board. Clamp the entire unit together and expose it to the sun, or artificial U.V. light source, perpendicular to the rays. Best results are achieved at noontime in strong sunlight, an average time would be 90 seconds in the summer in northeast United States. Once the plate has been exposed to the screen, bring the entire unit indoors and replace the screen with the artwork. The exposure is repeated however the time may differ.
NOTE: The darker or more dense the transparency---the longer the exposure; The lighter or more delicate the transparency---the shorter the exposure. Times can vary from 3 minutes down to 15 seconds.
REMEMBER: Keep the first exposure with your time consistent. For darker results DECREASE your exposure time; for lighter results; increase your exposure time.
NEVER USE THE DOUBLE EXPOSURE TECHNIQUE FOR RELIEF PLATES. I ALWAYS TEST FIRST BEFORE USING LARGE PLATES
WASH OUT (etching)
The washout process is a substitution for the "etch" process In traditional Intaglio. Sixty-eight degree water is used instead of acid. Gently, scrub the entire image with a soft nylon scrub brush for about 1 minute for the double exposure; two minutes or longer for a single exposure (without the screen). During the washout, the image will be removed from the surface, creating an intaglio surface. You can control the washing time and stop at any desired moment. After completing the washout, quickly blot with newsprint or phone book pages.
Post Expose the plate for 5-10 minutes; longer post exposure will not harm the image
Before inking, eliminate the sharp corners of the plate with a file.
Printing may be done in either relief or intaglio. Plate thickness is less than standard zinc or copper and presses should be adjusted accordingly. Although hand printing may be accomplished by traditional rubbing techniques, a press is more desirable for ease, consistency and quality. Any quality printmaking paper may be used.
The ease in inking is enhanced by using a magnetic vinyl under the Solarplate. The steel backed Solarplate stays put on the magnet making the wiping or rolling action extremely simple.