Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Solar Plate Printing with Wendy & Annie

Annie McMahon's sublime Sydney studio

I've been wanting to try solar plate etching using photopolymere plates ever since I acquired some of Wendy Shortland's Quirky Artist beautiful and intriguing prints.  On a recent trip home to Sydney Wendy and Annie McMahon treated me to a fantastically generous and exciting day in Annie's Sydney studio.  Now I'm totally hooked and have brought ten plates back to Tuscany for further experiments in this exciting chemical free method of etching.  In a future post I'll attempt to do a WIP for those interested in the process.  For now I'd just like to share my excitement. Click on the images for a larger view.

Dark Corner - two colour print

Dark Corner was etched from a pen and liquid pencil trace on drafting film from a sketch I made in Patonga (see previous post).

This is the image that was placed face down on the photopolymere plate and exposed in the sun for a couple of minutes.  The plate was then washed off with a sponge and water, dried and after another hour cooking in the sun was ready to print.

 Plates ready for inking

My second plate was an ink trace of an old sketch I had made in Castiglion Fiorentino.
First print inked in two colours

My sketch was too small for the plate which resulted in a dirty boarder when I wiped the plate so, when I got back to Italy, I cut the plate back to the edge of the image and printed it again.

All these prints are on Rives BFK paper, generously provided by Wendy and unfortunately unavailable in Italy.

'Quirky Artist' inking her plate which is held on a clever magnetic board
Wendy demonstrated the inking process on her own beautiful Gymea Lily plate and I got to keep the print!

Wendy Shortland

Then I got to ink one of Annie's plates and another beautiful print came home to Italy.

Annie McMahon

Charlie -The Studio Dog who reminded me of You Know Who
A perfect day of printmaking that I do hope I can repay one day when my Sydney mentors make it to Tuscany.


Bridget Hunter said...

How much is air fare to Tuscany so you can now teach me how to do it ? These are wonderful.

Anns Art said...

I like the sound of this etching, and look forward to you doing a WIP...please:) The prints you show are so good.

Lizzie said...

Awww.... what a fabulous technique! I would love to try this one day too! Where do you get the photopolymer plates? Perhaps I need to Google...
Thanks for sharing the lovely prints that you and your friends made - beautiful!

Sue Pownall said...

How interesting I want to know more and see more of your lovely results.

carlarey said...

These are fantastic! I'm glad to see you back.

dinahmow said...

Ah! That tricksy sun! Same thing happened to me at a workshop, but some of us were able to use a borrowed lightbox on the second day.I'm thinking of asking The Man to help me make one.

Joan T said...

Robin - What a wonderful process to learn. These came out really nicely! I have a friend who does prints and hope to take her solar etching class at some point.

Have a Happy Easter!

Robyn Sinclair said...

Thank you all for your delightful comments, I've been struggling with a painting and sadly neglecting this blog. Your attention is always appreciated though. :)

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