View Full Version : Toray Plates

02-11-2005, 02:23 PM
Since we were talking about other photosensitive methods, I thought I would throw in Toray plates.


This is not as easy as the water developing methods as there is a developer involved. The plates however seem quite hardy as I have printed some quite a few times with no apparent degradation. The woman who taught the workshop I took has used some of the plates for a long time (1 year) and has used them numerous times.

While some consider this an intaglio method, it seems more like litho to me cuz of the ink type and the way the ink works. You ink on with a brayer, and you keep rolling multiple times until the ink pulls away from the exposed areas. Anyway here is a description at the Rembrandt site:


The Toray plates are aluminum (aluminium for Jim Read) and can be mounted on a backing for more strength. You print with litho ink. Colors require quite a stiff ink.

This is a monotype with the Toray plate printed on top of a 2-color intaglio ink background. The sizes are:

Toray Plate = 4.5 x 6.75 inches
Monoprint = 8.5 x 12.5 inches

This isn't done yet, I tend to overdo it though, so I am cautious about overprinting and haven't done anything about this yet. I can't tell you how many half-printed pieces I have around.

Thanks for looking.

02-11-2005, 03:47 PM
Wow I really like the look of that print so far. Can you give me a little more information on what the process is done/how you came to that print. It really looks like an interesting process!

02-11-2005, 04:41 PM
<<<<Can you give me a little more information on what the process is done/how you came to that print. >>>

Thanks, Nick. Sure I shall try. I made the Toray plates about three quarters of a year ago though so I may be rusty on details of how the plate is created. Since it has been so long, please take the following with a grain of suspicion and get more precise instructions from the manufacturer (that is my disclaimer).

You make the Toray plate - that is the part with the fish bones - by exposing to light and blacking out certain sections. The black sections will print black (or color) as it is a positive method.

Make an image on a transparent surface XEROX overhead plastic sheets, mylar, glass, etc. You can draw on the clear medium or can use a XEROX copier to transfer from opaque paper to the clear plastic. The drawing must be black & white, this method does not do greys from what I understand (but I am a novice at this so I could be wrong).

In a darkroom:

Cut the plate to the size desired on a paper-cutter (or use other cutting tools). This must be done in a dark room so as to not expose the plate. It is a good idea to cut test-strips of the plates first and experiment with exposure times.

Take the film off of the plate.

Place the transparent surface on the plate - for sharpest lines it must be drawing side in contact with the plate so light cannot seep from the side.

Place in a lightbox and expose for desired time. You may want to test this. I haven't tried using sunlight but it should work as well (otherwise why are we in the darkroom all the time?

After exposing take out of darkroom into subdued light area. You will want gloves for this. Immediately use dye to stain image.

Place in developer & rub with soft brush until you can feel the ridges and see image. It is awfully difficult to see the fine lines and whether you have done enough, so you need to tilt the plate and look carefully to ensure that it looks like there are different textures.

I seem to remember a fixative, it may have only been a water bath.


Print with oil-based Process Black litho ink. Roll out the ink as you do for any brayer application, and roll on. At first the entire plate will be covered, you need to keep rolling and some ink will come off. You can use a clean brayer as well to accelorate the removal process. The first few times you roll it the ink won't take as well, keep on with it.

The colors were just plain monotype methods, I applied the lighter blue intaglio ink to plexiglass, textured it, printed, then inked the same plate with a darker blue and masked off a rectangle. After the two colors were printed, I printed the fish bones over the color, offset from the masked rectangle spot.

In New England, USA, workshops on the Toray method at the South Shore Art Center in Cohasset MA (SSAC).

02-11-2005, 09:33 PM
Thanks! It really sounds like an interesting process, I may have to try my hand at it.

02-11-2005, 11:20 PM
Yes but please get some more definate instructions regarding exposure & developing - don't go by my recollection. The plates do have gret resolution as you can see. Not cheap though.