Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Prepping for impulse buy--Solar Plates

Today I'm reading about solar plates out of this book, Printmaking in the Sun: An Artist's Guide to Making Professional-Quality Prints using the Solarplate Method, by Dan Welden and Pauline Muir (they must be out of print because they are currently listed at $165 on Amazon!). I went online and bought some registration guides from Takach Press the other day and impulse bought some solar plates. I need to read quickly. They'll be arriving in a few days and it would be nice to give them a try with an ounce of confidence. Trouble is I don't have easy access to a light box so I plan on making a contact printer out of glass and foam so I can use the sun. (Might as well employ the hot sun here in Austin.) I imagine in about a week I'll be giving it a try so check back for progress.

Fun thing, while looking through my book I came upon this page, having forgotten it was in there. (A print by Kelly Fearing titled Dark Bird in Passage Searching.)

It was a nice surprise, because you see, I also have it hanging on my wall. It's a place of honor next to my husband's uke.

If you have any words of wisdom on exposing solar plates in the sun, do tell.


Alison said...

No words of wisdom, but looking forward to seeing what you produce. I read about creating Sunprints in Cloth, Paper, Scissors last year, and it looked very interesting. I'll see if I can find the issue for you if you like


Cathy Savage said...

Ohh! Sounds interesting!!

I own some Cyanotype formula but have never really done anything with that--have you? I want to try the photo sensitive screen printing stuff too, can't think of the name of it now. Stencil Pro? I've tried an ImageOn kind of product called Zacryl but only once. I had access to a light table though. So much to do but so little time. I'm like the Mad Hatter!

Cathy Savage said...

My friend Jill Alo sent me this via email and I thought it was post worthy:

The seal is critical. This is obvious, I guess, but pay particular attention to this when creating your sandwich of transparency and plate. (Carol said she's had the best luck sitting on hers)

Where do you get your transparencies? Some brands suck for solar plates. I liked the inexpensive teacher's transparencies found at Teacher Heaven, at Hwy 71 and so. Lamar, around the corner from the former Lack's furniture.

90 seconds worked well for sun exposure, though time of yr. is supposed to matter. According to our yard, the sun right now is a lot like August! The key here is TEST STRIPS. Since the plates can get expensive if you have failures, making these is well worth the time and trouble. That said, I have no access to a cutter, wonder if the one at work would cut plates....