Printmaking Plates, film, and Chemistry
Lithographic plates are printed in a planographic fashion. After processing, these plates accept ink into areas that have an affinity to oily substances. Ink is repelled away from plate areas that have an affinity for water.
- Ball Grained Aluminum Plates
- Aluminum lithography plate is a modern alternative to traditional bavarian limestone.
- Positive Plate
- Positive working litho plates are aluminum plates coated with a photosensitive emulsion. When exposed to ultraviolet light through a film positive the emulsion hardens. Further processing reveals a positive image.
- Smart Plate
- Smart plate is a thin polyester film with a coating that accepts various marks which are fused with heat to the plate and printed as in a similar fashion to traditional lithography. Smart Plate is primarily used with laser printers though additional marks can be added including toner particles in the form of washes, ink from ball point pens and marks from sharpie markers.
Intaglio plates are etched using acids or engraved with hand tools to create recessed ink holding areas below surface of the plate. Printmakers can utilize drypoint lines to create marks that hold ink in a burr above the plates surface.
- Zinc Plate
- Zinc plate is used in printmaking for engraving with hand tools.
- Copper Plate
- The resilience to printing pressure makes Copper plate the preferred plate for etching and engraving.
- Copper Plate can be etched in a vertical bath of ferric chloride.
Photopolymer plates are intaglio plates that consist of a steel backed polymer, which is light sensitive.
- Steel backed, light sensitive photopolymer printmaking plate designed to provide a safer alternative to traditional etching and relief printmaking.
- Km Plate
- Photopolymer plate similar to Solarplate that has a thinner emulsion. A cost effective alternative to Solarplate, requires the use of an exposure unit.
Photopolymer film is utilized for intaglio plate making, adhered to a copper or plastic plate through a laminating process.
- ImagOnTM HD Photopolymer Film
- Photopolymer film manufactured by Du Pont.
- Z* Acryl Photopolymer Film
- A slightly thinner version of photopolymer film.
Thin plastic film materials, used in printmaking for drawing, registration, and image transfer.
- Velvet Tone
- A fine tooth grained surface for pencil, crayon and washes.
- Artex Film
- A course grained surface for use with pencils, crayons and washes.
- Mylar Film
- Used for general registration purposes as well as for photographic processes.
- Polyester Film
- Ideal for pencil and ink work.
The general chemistry used in lithography to process plate, and print the image.
- Used for washing-out ink from the lithographic image.
- Tannic Acid
- Used in lithography to make TAPEM, by mixing with gum arabic and phosphoric acid.
- Gum Arabic
- Used in lithography during preparation for drawing to establish negative areas, during the first and second etch, and during the image closing procedures.
- Deep Etch V Lacquer
- A synthetic printing base used during processing of ball grained aluminum plate, that builds up and sets image area.
- Asphaltum preserves and protects etched litho plates. Essential in litho processing.
- Positive Plate Developer
- Used for developing positive photolithographic plates.
- Positive Plate Finisher Preserver Cleaner FPC
- Positive plate finisher preserver cleaner, is a final step for photolithographic plate development.
- FPC cleans and protects photolithographic plates and reduces scumming.
- Use to store image on plate.
- Deletion Fluid
- Used to remove areas of image from photolithographic plates.
- Can be used to remove image areas from ball grained litho plates.
- Deletion fluid stored in a pen called image remover pens are useful for detailed image deletion, and are commonly used in conjunction with addition pens.
The basic Chemistry used in the etching processes, to etch plates, and process various types of intaglio matrixes.
- Ferric Chloride
- Less toxic option for etching zinc plates in a vertical bath.
- Soft ground
- Graphic Chemical Universal Etching Soft Ground.
- Hard Ground
- Graphic Chemical Universal Etching Hard Ground.
- Ball Ground
- Graphic Chemical Ball grounds available in hard or soft and opaque or transparent.
- Graphic Chemical Stopout Varnish.
- Powder form of tree sap used in etching aqua tint boxes to dust plates.
- Soda Ash
- Used in the development of photopolymer film such as: ImagOn and Z*Acryl .