Re: Photopolymer Plate Options
I'm using a vacuum frame but it doesn't always eliminate the problem of mottling and uneven contact, although I find the Printight plates are better than the Solarplates. I think part of my problem (with either plate) is that I'm having to cut them with a straight edge and utility knife because I don't have the room for a guillotine. I get a good vacuum and have never had contact problems with other processes so I don't think it's the frame.
I found that when I started using the Printight plates, problems that I'd associated with bad contact disappeared straight away. The plates were able to resolve detail in areas that just didn't have any before (shadows especially) and the mottling was significantly less of a problem. I don't know if that's a result of the slipcoat you mention, or just because it's able to resolve more detail. Either way, I think you'll certainly notice a difference if you move to the Printight plates.
Another thing I do is to dust the plate with talc just prior to exposure and to gently brush it around with a very soft brush, so there's just a very light dusting on the plate. This seems to really help increase the contact, although this would only work with vacuum frames.
A friend here in Minneapolis is a letterpress printer who uses the polymer plates for type and needs to resolve the finest lines and serifs. He uses a vacuum frame with Kreen instead of glass. Kreen is a plastic that's available from Boxcar and is really the best way to go for perfect contact. Jon Lybrook I know asked about this before, although I don't know if he made the switch. Jon?
Lastly, one of the most informative books on using Toyobo Printight plates specifically I found to be Diane Longley's "Printmaking with Photopolymer Plates". Published by Illumination Press in Adelaide, Australia.
On Feb 13, 2007, at 8:53 AM, Christina Z. Anderson wrote:
Jon, Hellena, Nancy, Keith, etc.
Do you find that the toyobo plates don't mottle as much as solarplate?? It seems from the website description that it has a slipcoat to obtain better contact between film and plate. Do you think this would solve my problem of not having a vacuum frame or are all of you using vacuum frames as well?