RE: Newbie introduction
Good morning from California. I've been playing a bit with solarplate and
thought I would share some information with you.
1. Solarplate requires positives on transparencies rather than negatives.
Good news for you unless you want to learn to create digital negatives for
other alt processes. I was recently pulling plates with a platinum printer
from this area and we both were taken aback by the results we got from
scanning inkjet positives on photo paper and outputting them onto cheap
Office Depot inkjet transparencies.
2. You can buy good quality ready-made light boxes from Edwards Engineering
or Photographer's Formulary if you don't want to go through the hassle of
building your own. BUT, the printmaker who taught me to make plates used an
old 8x10 facial tanner taped on top of a cardboard box for her UV source
(1.5 minute exposures). This makes me think that you could use some simple
bulbs with a good amt of UV to expose, but I haven't tried it.
Non-photographer printmakers in my area use the sun as a source, roughly 20
3. Dan Weldon who invented solarplates has a good book on the subject:
Weldon, Dan. _Printmaking in the Sun_
4. A couple of online sources:
5. Exposing the plates is very simple. Short exposures and rinse in water.
Then harden the plate under a UV source for 10 minutes or so ( I toss mine
on the window sill and have a beer). The plates ink up easily. As a newbie I
went from positive in hand to pulled print in about 30 minutes (including
scanning the positive and outputting it on cheap transparency film).
I envy you already owning an etching press. I can't believe how expensive
they are. I told myself that I would just dip into my son's college fund to
pay for it, but realized he would have to get through college in 3 years if
I did :-)
From: Susan Voss [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Monday, January 15, 2007 7:07 AM
Subject: Newbie introduction
I was here a year or so ago, but had to withdraw for awhile. I'm back
now and will be working toward a set-up for making polymer
photogravures from digital negs.
I'm primarily a painter and printmaker, but grew up with a Dad who had
a darkroom, so making my own photographs has always seemed a very
natural thing. My husband shoots large format, b&w, and we have a
small but nice darkroom off my painting and printmaking studio. I
really do have a perfect setup for photogravures ( i have an intaglio
press), but I have to learn to make digital negs (I have an Epson
1280), build a UV box (i have a table saw and I know how to use it),
and expose the plates ( i have some books about that). Sounds simple.
Looking forward to the journey, and hope to eventually be able to
contribute something more than questions ;)
Susan Daly Voss