Thursday, April 12, 2012

Sintra -- the Wonder Substrate

© Cathy Savage, Bird on a Ball, 22 x 30",
drypoint and embossing on Sintra
with collage and chine colle
I've been using Sintra (Cel tec/plastic coated foam core/name of the week) as a printing plate and this is what I've learned:
  • It can be cut to size with a chop saw or table saw--or the old fashioned way with a utility knife and a ruler.
  • It can be carved with a dremel tool, hand tools, scribe or something as simple as sandpaper.
  • It can be coated with Pledge (formerly Future) Floor Wax to minimize the orange peel surface (handy for intaglio when wanting to reduce plate tone, plus making a smoother surface seems to make the tools glide easier).
  • You don't have to bevel the plate when printing relief if using chip board or Naugahyde instead of blankets. (The pressure used is much lighter than intaglio where you'll need to bevel to keep paper and blankets from cutting.)
  • It's cheap. An 1/8" width 4 x 8' sheet of it costs $22 from Regal Plastics. They will cut it for you into pieces for a few dollars. 
  • You can emboss it, make a collagraph, carve into it, sand it, and print it relief or intaglio. 
  • You can use the other side! It comes coated in plastic so be sure to peel off before you begin. (I leave the plastic on the back until I'm ready to go on the flip side.) 
This material can't be lasered because the fumes would be toxic, but it is otherwise the most versatile and inexpensive matrix I've ever used. (Mat board is pretty awesome too. I'll need to do a post about mat board at some point...)

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