Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Sand Blasting Film for Printmaking Matrix--say what?

I think I heard of this product from artist Sylvia Betts. (Check out her work, you'll love it.) I tried it years ago on the sheep print below, but never ventured in again. Until now.

What is this stuff?
The film is by Hartco Inc. and the product number is HG535S. I bought it in a 10-yard roll that was 15" wide. I think they go up to 25". The roll isn't cheap. I just bought some more material that's their 900 series because it was carried locally and I wouldn't have to pay shipping. It's a slightly different material but it seems to work just the same. The film is a just-thick-enough for carving and there's high grip adhesive on the back.

Back to the sheep. How was it done?
For the sheep I used 3 plates of equal sized mat board that was coated with 100% Liquitex gloss varnish/medium (my go-to medium for printmaking) on both sides, put a slab of the material on top, and started carefully cutting with an X-acto blade. You just peel up the cut parts--and they remove quite easily because of the varnish. The X-acto method totally obliterates the incidental carving marks from regular carving, so that may be a bonus or a negative for you.

 © 2003 Cathy Savage, Blue Sheep, 15 x 11"

I told printmaker extraordinaire Janet Badger about this stuff and she's been carving into it with lino tools and printing as intaglio! OH! The possibilities!

 © 2013 Janet Badger

Here's what she said:
I use it like linoleum. You can carve it with lino tools, and cut it with an Xacto or even scissors. I never stick it to anything because I put it through my etching press. I might assemble puzzle pieces on a piece of thin cardboard but I still leave the backing on. Because I am usually rolling the pieces with different colors. In the attached I put the cut-out figure onto cardboard and printed with a piece of suminagashi. The "lino" tends to hold a lot of plate tone when wiped intaglio. 

Getting Reacquainted--Reunited and it Feels so Good!
I played around with this yesterday and here's a pic of a quick cut that I mounted on a scrap of wood.

And now the printed version. I think it looks pretty decent for just using my fingers to transfer the ink.

I have another block that I carved up with tools and the high grip adhesive is doing it's thing and there are adhesive boogers all over the wood. Maybe varnish wood first?? I'll have to figure out how to make this material work better for me. I'm hoping to use this material instead of linoleum in an upcoming workshop. The linoleum is too hard to cut with cheap carving tools, which is really the only way to make the workshop affordable. And this stuff cuts like butter.


Aine Scannell said...

Hiya Kathy

I am not sure what sandblasting film feels like. Does it have a smooth surface OR is it like sandpaper with an adhesive backing.??

I just googled it and understand that it's for protecting those areas of a design that one does not wish to be 'sandblasted'. They also sell sandblast stencils. ?? I wonder if one could incorporated into a printmaking context. I think once I understand better how it feels I will have a better idea. Please would you try to explain its physical nature. Hope to hear from you. As always thanks so much for sharing. I hope you don't mind that I have pinned some techniques of yours onto the Pinterest board called "Printmaking in Process"
best wishes


Cathy Savage said...

It's smooth. Shoot me an email with your mailing address on it and I'll send you a sample. And regarding Pinterest, pin away! I'm happy to share.