Photo-polymer gravure and Solar plate
With the development of light sensitive photo-polymer coatings on plastic or metal plates. It is now possible to create photo-realistic etchings with extremely fine detail. Originally designed for industrial use relief printing , this technique can also be used for intaglio to create exciting original art work.
A number of different types of photosensitive plates are available which all work on the principle that the polymer coating is soluble in water or a mild caustic, unless exposed to ultraviolet light where it is hardened.
An opaque positive transparency of the image is required. Anything that you create on a photo film can be used: Painting in black on Tru-grain, a transparent plastic surface, a black and white Laser-Jet photocopy on an acetate sheet or a scanned computer image. When placed over the light-sensitive surface on the plate and exposed to a strong UV light all but the area shielded under the image is hardened by the light. The plate is then washed according to the manufacturer’s instructions to remove the soft unfixed areas of the design.
For relief printmaking, the design is transferred from a negative image onto a photo-sensitive plate so that the design is left fixed on the surface in relief
Photo-etching using Hydra-coat plates
Photo-etching using Hydra-coat emulsion can be applied to many surfaces and metals such as copper zinc and steel, all being ideal for photographic and autographic imagery; an added advantage of working with the Hydra-coat plate is that after exposure it can then be re-worked using conventional etching processes, where as solar plate can hold extremely high resolution and only requires water to develop but can not be reworked.
the developer for hydra coat is a mild caustic solution . the plates are etched in nitric acid or ferric chloride.
Cyanotype Photographic printing
Cyanotype is a photographic process, first developed in the 1950s. It produces a painterly blue and white image from photographic negatives or auto-graphic mark making onto tru-grain ( a clear grained film). cyanotype is Versatile for printing on both paper or natural fabrics.