Friday, October 22, 2010

Preparing a Sintra plate

I'm cutting 3mm plastic coated foam core today for a drypoint series on camping. (Sintra is a brand name. Simona is too. #4 recycling is LDPE or low density poly-ethylene.)  Regal Plastics carries it off US 183 in Austin. Previous blog post on drypoint on this product here.

Anyway, to cut the stuff I'll score it a few times with a utility knife, then pop the seam. The stuff is coated with an anti-scratch plastic that you peel off, otherwise the product is white and usable on both sides. It does come in other colors, but white is the easiest for inking and wiping. My suggestion: measure twice before scoring.

Now that I have a nice piece of the Sintra, I'll need to file the edges. I can use a regular file like the one the left or a scraper tool held at a 45 degree angle, pictured on the right. The edges tend to hold ink, so you can go as far as finishing with sandpaper or coat it with acrylic medium. (You can see the remnants of the Sintra that I've scraped off in the center of the picture. If you use sandpaper, for sure use a respirator. You don't want to be inhaling plastic particles.)

This is what your plate edges should look like.

I use this product for collagraphs too, but first I sand the surface to make sure any glue has a tooth to hang onto.

Happy printing!


Suzanne said...

Hi I have been an oil painter for years and just went to a printmaking workshop and fell in love. I have been recommended using sintra. I am wondering if you need a press or if hand pressure is enough. Can you use it like a lino or wood cut. I understand it can be used with etching tools.

Cathy Savage said...

I have actually only used it as intaglio--put ink on, wipe ink off, ink stays in recesses, print. But you can use it for relief--carve into and roll ink on top. I know folks that have had good results this way. For intaglio you really need a press. Even the pin press by Gail Ayres (which I love for monotypes), I just don't think it'll give the print enough pressure to really get that ink out of the recesses. As for relief, YES! No need for a press. A good wooden spoon will do the trick. Let me know if I've made you more confused. :)