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H2O_Baby
02-03-2005, 08:19 PM
A while back somebody (Andrew maybe?) started a thread about a litho method using a polymer plate that you could draw on with waterproof media or use toner on.

I saw a print from a test plate posted. Did anyone ever find this medium to be useful and worthy of effort? I'd love to see what those of you who used it thought, and also see your finished prints if any are available.

Thanks in advance.

B

Printmakerguy
02-03-2005, 10:29 PM
I posted a quick trial print that I did- There are a few of us in here that are playing with the polyester litho sheets (myself and Diane- Perhaps some more), but due to a MAJOR backlog of other projects, I have had to kind of put it on the back burner...

I will be working with it more over the next few months, for sure!

-Andrew

Diane Cutter
02-04-2005, 07:24 AM
Yes, I'm embarrassed to say, I have the plate ready to print, but haven't had the time to finish it yet. This is the weekend for printing so I should be able to report next week...

Diane

H2O_Baby
02-04-2005, 10:13 PM
I saw Andrew's tester plate and that is why I was interested to see if anyone had done any additional tries with it.

I guess I shall wait a little more - it looks interesting.

Joost
02-06-2005, 11:18 AM
Hi All,

I'm Joost and new to this forum (and also pretty new to WC). I did not do any printmaking in the last couple of years, but in the past I did quite some silk screen printing and a bit of relief & lino printing (also a few occasional experiments with intaglio, but never made into some serious prints).

However, the stories on polymer litho plates are stimulating my imagination (like apparently that of others!) and I'd like to give a try as well. I'm looking forward to further discussions in this forum! Some questions already, given the immaturity of the discussion probably too early but I give it a shot:

The most quoted polymer litho plates are the Pronto Plates. I can not find a dealer in my part of the world. There IS a dealer that supplies Z*acryl plates. From the description it looks like very similar stuff. Unfortunately, almost twice as expensive and no variety in sizes (e.g. not larger than A3+). Any idea on the pros and cons of the two?

Perhaps a third alternative(?): Agfa Laserlink plates. These plates are used by high-volume commerical printers in a computer-to-plate process. Sounds exactly like the origin of the Pronto Plates. The same or comparable stuff?

Last question/dream: images can be printed on the pronto/z*acryl/agfa plates with a laser printer. Toner is hydrofobe. Any chance that my Epson Stylus Photo 2100 might do the job as well? I assume a standard inkjet will not work, since the dye inks are water soluble. The pigment based ink of the 2100 is (I have the impression) not water soluble once dried.

Looking forward to an interesting expedition....

Sunfilly
02-07-2005, 03:53 PM
I have a pronto plate I'm going to experiment with. I was waiting for my school semester to start which is Feb. 15th. I was going to experiment with screen printing my image on it with oil based inks, then printing that. Will let you know how it goes.

Joost
02-08-2005, 01:53 AM
I have a pronto plate I'm going to experiment with. [...] I was going to experiment with screen printing my image on it with oil based inks, then printing that.

Just out of curiosity: why bothering about this "indirect printing" iso printing drectly to paper? What additional effect are you looking for?

Joost

Sunfilly
02-08-2005, 02:42 PM
One thing I like about screen printing is the stencil method of printing, and screens are the best way to make a stencil. but if you have 12 or more layers to do, you need to have twelve or more screens if you do not what to print your edition all at once. Right now I use one screen and have to destroy each layer to go on to the next one. I have to print the edition all at once and it is very physically demanding to do that for me and takes me forever. I figured if I can put my layers on pronto plates, I can do a lot with it if it works, I can do up one print from start to finish and make any adjustments right on the pronto plate, I like the idea of seeing one print finished so I can be sure of my colors and all, before I move on to make the editions, and I can print my edition at my own pace, the pronto plates take up less room to store and they are not that expensive compared to screens. I usually do an edition of twenty of my screen prints, with the pronto plates I can do five one month and five the next month. I can work on several screen print pronto plates at once, if I want to. I have five serigraphs planned out I want to do, imagine if each had more then ten layers, how many screens I would have to have if I wanted to print them at my own pace. Maybe it does not make sense to most people, I'm not even sure it would work, but technically it should because the ink you use on the pronto plate needs to be oil based ink. While doing this method would not make it a serigraph but a litho, what matters to me is the finished product.

H2O_Baby
02-08-2005, 05:03 PM
Hey Joost, welcome - I'm new too.

I have tried Toray printing which is a light hardened polymer litho method as well. I only did it in a workshop and don't have a handle on all the supplies needed. It doesn't seem as easy as the other methods but the plates print beautifully. Well they did once we figured out that we had to take the plastic sheet coating them off!

B

Joost
02-09-2005, 05:05 PM
Sunnyfilly,

See your point. More than once I got pretty frustrated when by the end of the printing I realised that once of the first layers should have had a slightly different color :mad: :mad: . Having all the plates available gives you more room to experiment and adapt.

Nevertheless, your process still seems to be unneccesary complicated to me. I don't know what kind of stencils you're actually using, but it should be fairly simple to get the image on the plates: drawing, spraying or direct photocopy :confused: :confused: But perhaps you have good reason for it..

To all,

Yesterday I ordered some Z*acryl plates. Let you know when I have some results.

Sunfilly
02-09-2005, 10:17 PM
Sunnyfilly,

See your point. More than once I got pretty frustrated when by the end of the printing I realised that once of the first layers should have had a slightly different color :mad: :mad: . Having all the plates available gives you more room to experiment and adapt.

Nevertheless, your process still seems to be unneccesary complicated to me. I don't know what kind of stencils you're actually using, but it should be fairly simple to get the image on the plates: drawing, spraying or direct photocopy :confused: :confused: But perhaps you have good reason for it..

To all,

Yesterday I ordered some Z*acryl plates. Let you know when I have some results.

You could be right about that. I'm just experimenting at this point. By spraying do you mean an air brush, spray paint, or an atomizer? That would be interesting.

My stencils for my screens usually consist of many techniques, sometimes tracing paper, sometimes filler and block out, sometimes photo film, mostly using all methods in one piece.

I could use acetate stencils in place of tracing paper and roll if the area was small, or spray the ink or toner on for bigger areas, and for photo film, I could instead use a photocopy. And in place of filler I can just paint that on like I do on the screen. I just thought I might get a more level and consistent printing area if I used a screen to put it on, and that would make the inking and printing easier, I might get more consistant results in the printing with no problems and not to many bad prints. The thing about screen printing is once you learn how to do it right your bad prints are very few. The last run I did I had only 1 bad print in an 18 edition run.

Well I'm dreaming BIG now thinking of all the things I can do with Pronto Plates hehehe, I first have to start small to get the process right. LOL!!!! That is the problem with not having a studio or equipment at home, I have to imagine and dream of what I want to do until school starts. I can already see the great prints in my head. Oh the fantasy life of an artist. The reality of it all may not be as great or grand, but then again it just might be grand. :D

lokates
02-10-2005, 12:14 AM
I got a happy little box today from Graphic Chemical. I spent most of the evening playing around with the Pronto plates and will post pictures when my creations are dry enough to scan. They are not as marvelous as I had hoped, but I think the process will take some time to get used to, as I have never done any type of lithography. A big, important step: wetting the plate. Oh yes, I forgot to on my second try.

I also am in possession of a book by George Roberts called (what else?) Polyester Plate Lithography. This guy pretty much invented it so I highly recommend it. It explains the process simply and even opens flat so you can have it right by your side when you work.

Joost
02-10-2005, 02:11 AM
By spraying do you mean an air brush, spray paint, or an atomizer? That would be interesting.


I mean using an air brush. Airbrushers are heavy users of stencils. A bit of experience myself. Very easy technique to replicate a stencil on a surface. Question is what paint to use. Acrylic paint is most commonly used with airbrushes, but it's not clear to me if that would work on a polyester litho plate. (anyone insight here?) Oil paint can also be used with an airbrush but is apparantly (no experience) more difficult to handle.


Well I'm dreaming BIG now thinking of all the things I can do with Pronto Plates hehehe, I first have to start small to get the process right. LOL!!!! [...] I can already see the great prints in my head. Oh the fantasy life of an artist. The reality of it all may not be as great or grand, but then again it just might be grand. :D

Same here. If just every idea would substantiate .............. :)

visage
02-10-2005, 06:32 AM
Hi everybody, Im also new here and although it has been a while since doing any printmaking whatsoever but I still have pronto plates and recently found some old press to dry clothes in a junk yard. I think it might work for the plates (although it seems quite worn and rusty) but I dont have any of the other materials requiered. Anyway here is some early tester picture from the course I took in polyprinting or polygraph printing :)

Diane Cutter
02-10-2005, 06:49 AM
Welcome, Visage, both to the Printmaking Forum and to WetCanvas... We are happy to have you join us...

These are wonderful. You'll have to explain them to us. Size, how you did the two colors... Beautiful!

Diane

visage
02-10-2005, 07:32 AM
These are images from indian postcards which were scanned and cropped, then we printed black boxes that matched the images to hold the red background colour and another pair of boxes with holes in them for the exterior, this came out grungy looking due to rolling without experience (It is not so easy distributing the colour evenly), maybe the plate was to dry?
And then the faces were added last. Everything was photocopied onto the plates. The size... I think it is something like A5 or 12x12cm I don't remember and the original is somewhere in a box. :)

Sunfilly
02-10-2005, 01:07 PM
Welcome Visage,
These are nice prints. I heard with photcopies you need to set them with heat so it will not flake off. You mentioned a clothinig press, is that what you used in school?

Sunfilly
02-10-2005, 01:35 PM
I mean using an air brush. Airbrushers are heavy users of stencils. A bit of experience myself. Very easy technique to replicate a stencil on a surface. Question is what paint to use. Acrylic paint is most commonly used with airbrushes, but it's not clear to me if that would work on a polyester litho plate. (anyone insight here?) Oil paint can also be used with an airbrush but is apparantly (no experience) more difficult to handle.



I think the question would be if the paint would stick to the plate and stay. If they stick to the plate they can be used if they are water resistant. Acrlics are used quite often in colligraphs so you can ink it and it is water resistant. You can also get liquid Tushe, I saw it on MrArt or Dickblick website, dont' remember which one, but not sure if that would go through an air brush, I never used it before so don't know about the properties of it. I think we may have some at school, my teachers secret stash, but she will give me some. I am going to just make up a sampler plate using every thing I can get my hands on and see how it flies. There is an indepentant student at my school too who is a master at litho, that is all he does, so maybe he can give me some insite into the plates, even though he uses stones I think he mentioned he used pronto plates before, I'm going to pick his brain, hopefuly he will be there this semseter too.

H2O_Baby
02-10-2005, 07:20 PM
Visage: I love the 4-eyes on your ID. Thanks for printing the Pronto Plate experience, if I ever get another free moment I might get some of the polymer plates to try...

lokates
02-10-2005, 08:03 PM
Ok gang, here's two images from my session last night. The b&w one was first, and I obviously didn't get enough ink coverage. The second one is over a watercolor wash, and done after I tried inking the plate without wetting it first, so there are some stray marks that aren't supposed to be there. I will keep practicing and keep posting. Oh, these are both actually 5.5x9.5 on white BFK Rives using GC litho ink. And I made the plate with 2 different sized Sharpies.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Feb-2005/53759-PPL_plain_tree.jpg


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Feb-2005/53759-PPL_brown_tree.jpg

visage
02-10-2005, 10:10 PM
Thank you H20 Baby, Im glad you like the ID. It represents me and my better half, kind of a united self portrait. We are one art geek in two bodies, hence two pairs of glasses. :) :)

Sunfilly, I dont remember heating the plates prior, but flaking I do remember. I guess that makes sence.. maybe a hair dryer treatment would be good just before passing the plate through the machine.

Here is the clothing press which looks cool but soon it will have to be fixed a little, still it works, but we haven't made any prints on it...yet. The art university does not have one like this, to bad for them :)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Feb-2005/36205-press.jpg

Sunfilly
02-11-2005, 12:47 PM
Thank you H20 Baby, Im glad you like the ID. It represents me and my better half, kind of a united self portrait. We are one art geek in two bodies, hence two pairs of glasses. :) :)

Sunfilly, I dont remember heating the plates prior, but flaking I do remember. I guess that makes sence.. maybe a hair dryer treatment would be good just before passing the plate through the machine.

Here is the clothing press which looks cool but soon it will have to be fixed a little, still it works, but we haven't made any prints on it...yet. The art university does not have one like this, to bad for them :)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Feb-2005/36205-press.jpg

Oh that kind of press. I thought you were talking about those big heat presses they use at the dry cleaners to iron the clothes LOL!!! This press looks like it will work great for printing. It looks like it may be vintage, you got a great deal on this one.

Joost
02-28-2005, 06:45 AM
Hi all,

Last week I got my first batch of polyester litho plates (brand Z*acryl, could purchase that one in the Netherlands, can not find Pronto plates over here). I also ordered Roberts' book, but I guess it will take some time before I get it, so perhaps a few of my questions are in the book.... Sorry to bother you if so :o .

Did a few very simple trials. Apart from the plates I just used standard litho ink (rather thick), a small brayer, a sponge & plain water to wet the plate, standard paper and an intaglio press. I experimented with several materials to draw on the plate.

I got very easy, very good results with permanent markers. Also wax pastels work very nice. First trials were almost immediate OK. Amount of ink and water did not seem to be very critical. Rather dissapointing results I got with acrylic paint, litho tusche and oil pastel. None of these materials bonded to the surface. When inking the plate, the sticky litho ink just pulled them from the surface. Especially the acrylic was a bit a surprise to me. I expected it to bond much stronger..... :(

So I guess I need to fuse them to plate by applying heat. I could use some advice there. I do not have an oven large enough and precise enough to heat the fairly large plate (33x50 cm) to the rather narrow bandwith between 80 and 90 degrees (Celsius) that one apparently need to fuse the drawing while preventing melting the plate. So I was thinking of some alternatives: do you need AIR to heat it, or would WATER work as well? (pre-heat some water to 88 degrees and poor it in a container with the plate in it) Or would ironing work? (often used to bond textile paint to fabric).

Other suggestions for heating are very welcome! Suggestions to prevent the need of heating even more!!!!

Joost

REDart
02-28-2005, 08:31 PM
Joost

I have been following this pronto plate thread with interest, hoping for more info and some pictures of the great results.

About the acrylic paint - I have done a little work with acrylic medium on plexi plates and time was a factor. From what i understand the acrylic will eventually bond really well to the plastic but I don't know how much time, a few days maybe.

I think you are on the right track with the heat too. When we were making the plexi plates we used an oven and a hair dryer. Or a heat gun..... but they can get too hot.

Hope this helps, can't wait to see pictures.

Joost
03-01-2005, 01:17 AM
I have been following this pronto plate thread with interest, hoping for more info and some pictures of the great results.

[...] can't wait to see pictures.

Me too :wink2: but right now it's just a few scribbles... I'll post when I have something.


About the acrylic paint - I have done a little work with acrylic medium on plexi plates and time was a factor. From what i understand the acrylic will eventually bond really well to the plastic but I don't know how much time, a few days maybe.


Thanks for that info. Eager as I was, I waited (far) less than a day