Thursday, July 18, 2013

Printing the Sand Blasting Material

I proofed these plates Monday.

I didn't have a large brayer so you can see that there are places that my itty-bitty brayer inked that would have been avoided with a larger brayer. I did go home and add tiny strips of material to the block where I thought it needed it--the outline of the block by the neck--which is the beauty of this film.

The adhesive goobers on the the plate (see this post for more info on the sand blasting film) were hard to get off, but they were in the low areas so I left most of them. The leftover adhesive had nothing to do with the ink getting in the low areas--that was strictly a brayer problem.

A note about using carving tools on the film
You don't need to carve very deeply to make a nice mark. The carving area shown in the lower left near the name ADA, is very shallow and I didn't cut all the way through the film and so no sticky adhesive was exposed. On the face I was cutting deeper and exposing the adhesive, and then I just gave up and starting picking out all of the material leaving hardly any incidental marks. The goobers were driving me crazy and since I have 3 animals that are only good for shedding, I had bits of hair sticking to the plate before I scraped most of the sticky mess out with a flat razor.

I used untreated poplar for the block because I had it on hand but I've decided to try out some plates that are about the thickness of mat board for my next project. They're PVC I think... I'm gambling that the goobers will be easier to remove off of this stuff. One of those rubber cement remover things seems to do the trick. You just don't want to get too aggressive and peel up something you want to keep.

I bought large sheets of this PVC material from Regal Plastics awhile ago and they can be carved with sharp tools and printed just like that, but dang, plan on sharpening your tools a lot. I like them for collagraph plates since they hold up well vs. mat board and can be thrown around in the back of the car without fear of damage. The plates can be scored with a utility knife and snapped at the score, so cutting to size it literally a snap.

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