View Full Version : Plastic Etch Prints???
10-17-2000, 11:48 AM
I've got experience with intaglio printing, but as a teacher with high school students, plastic etch prints are as close as our facilities will allow.
I've had some very successful prints in times past at another school. I just ran a plate of mine through a basic table top press, and though the depression suggests sufficient pressure was used, the felt did not press the paper into the etched inked lines enough to pull satisfactory prints.
I'm wondering if there are not perhaps varying types of felts, and if the felt I'm using is not more a basic felt for general prints; that perhaps I need a felt more suited to press paper into drypoint lines???
I thought I had the right etch print paper, but perhaps that is the problem. Any ideas will be appreciated.
10-17-2000, 09:03 PM
I've printed some etched plastic before. Here's some ideas...
1) Try using thicker felt... two layers, for example, or more. Sometimes I find that this helps, especially with a high relief plate.
2) Very important!! Make sure the paper you're using to print is very slightly damp. Are you doing that?
I would soak my paper in a tub so all the sizing would rinse out, then pull it out by a corner, let it drip a bit, and then lay it between (unprinted) newsprint to soak up some of the water. Don't use it if it's so wet that there's still a sheen on the paper -- it should be nearly matte or satiny. This can really help, even if you're /not/ using waterbased ink.
If you can't soak your paper, spray it evenly with water from a squirt bottle instead, and layer it between newsprint in the same way described above. The newsprint will help distribute the water a bit.
Hope this helps! Let us know if you get it figured out?
-=- Jen "Supersoaker" de la Cruz
http://www.BEWAREofART.com and http://www.Pixelscapes.com
10-17-2000, 10:07 PM
Yeah, I wet the paper.
I was looking thru a Dick Blick catalog, and they recommend three blankets, one called a "Pusher"..another a "Cushion" and the third I don't remember the name off hand. About $30 for two that I'd need for our printer. I guess I'll try that route first, and then...make plans down the road for a bigger, more heavy duty printer.
I would imagine that wet thin rice etch paper might be best. So..I'll probably put a hold on that project for now until I can upgrade. Thanks...
10-22-2000, 11:54 PM
I use two felts, a griper blanket and a starch catcher. This has worked well with plexi. I also do dry point on aluminum plates. It hold up well enough to do up to 40 plates without wear. These plates are also less expensive than plexi.
10-23-2000, 12:56 AM
I purchased 50 9"x12" acrylic plates for about $85 for my students. I'm curious if the aluminum plates are indeed cheaper than this? Appreciate the info!
10-23-2000, 03:14 AM
I buy lightweight aluminum 11x14 for less that two dollars each.
[This message has been edited by sassybird (edited October 23, 2000).]
I do etchings and drypoints and have been undergoing engraving therapy---that is to say i always feel better after a long and hearty laugh at my engraving attempts.
I etch into zinc, aluminum and copper and drypoint into copper(i've used aluminum and zinc but now use copper only for this.
I have a couple questions:
1. What is a "griper blanket"?
2. What is a "starch catcher"?
3. How do you configure your blankets
for pulling drypoints?
4. What adjustments(pressure) do you
make for pulling drypoints.
I have been working some drypoints up on a couple plates over the last year but have not pulled any proofs. I just don't want to waste my burrs on playing with the press too much, and would appreciate any pointers on blankets or pressure as they apply to drypoints.
I have come to know copper as a beautiful, beautiful metal!
11-02-2000, 05:32 PM
Stupid question: What are you folks using to etch your design into the plates with?
*Are you wishing, or being?*
I am not sure if you are referring to those above who are etching plastic or not, but for etching copper or zinc i use a Nitric acid solution and for etching aluminum i use Stannous Chloride, anhydrous(crystalized). For general etching into aluminum i dissolve about one teaspoon of these crystals into one cup of water. I like using the aluminum plates and Stannous Chloride for projects that are one shot etch and/or do not require any drypointing or long editions.
for what it's worth,
...and i'm BEING!!!
11-03-2000, 08:18 AM
Bri, the old flatbed press I worked on was without a readable gauge. I set the pressure at 6 threads of the screw......lol
For my intaglio prints I always used one thick blanket. The gripper blanket is one with tooth that lays on top of the other blanket, and is much thinner. It grips the drum as you roll the bed under it and keeps things from shifting. A starch catcher is layed on top of the paper between the paper and the first blanket. It captures any moisture left in the paper and sizing that is squeezed out.
I use ferric chloride to etch my copper. I won't work with zinc any more. Just too much trouble for me. I do line etch, soft ground, white ground and aqua tint for etching. For dry point I use a whistlers needle and a diamond point etching needle. I can get a lot of prints from one plate, so I don't worry about losing the burr. For most printmakers that don't do huge editions losing burr is not a problem as they do not pull enough prints for that to happen. My editions usually run between 20 and 30 prints. I have known people that have done 50 and had no problem with imagry fading out from being run through the press.
IMO flatbed presses that are hand cranked are the best for intaglio. You have more control than with hydralic or motor run presses. I have tried all three.
Hi and thanks for the reply.
I have just finished taking my press apart, cleaning, filing/sanding and painting, lubing and reassembling it. I am ready for action now.
I have a small press which does not have continuous circumference on the upper roller, so my work is limited in size. It is a CRAFTSMEN i think, and is a handcrank unit which i also like because i can feel everything going into and coming out of the press. I also have only threads jutting out so i just wrenched two hex nuts together on the threaded shaft and use a wrench to make turns(i.e.: 1/4 turn, or 180 degrees).
Thanks for the rundown on your blanket usage.
I notice that most presses have one small handcrank as opposed to the four long arms that i am used to. Is there a reason for this. Why do i feel like this would be tougher to crank and to keep a smooth flow going?
11-23-2000, 10:16 PM
I have used both type presses. I think it was more a matter of design than anything. Really the hand crank isn't any more difficult to control than the 4 spoke wheeled one. Both give greater control than an motor or hydralic press.
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