Photographic Silk Aquatint Test 17 – Edge Fraying with Coated Edges

Researchers: Mady Lacaprucia and McKenzie Stuetzel

Date: 1-23-18   Temperature: 68 F, Not humid

Experiment Goal: How many times can we print a plate before it gets too frayed on the edges? In this experiment we are focused on using just the Shellac Spray. In attempt to stop the fraying on the edges of the shellacked covered plate, we also sprayed the edges.


One problem that we have yet to resolve is how to prevent the mesh on the edges of the plate from fraying. After printing, small hairs of the mesh lift up and leave small marks in your print. For this experiment, we printed one plates 6 times, to see how the edges would hold up after printing multiple times. The same person printed them all, so that the wiping technique is the same throughout.

While coating/spraying this plate we noticed that it was almost impossible to get a nice even coat of shellac while also spraying the edges. in the image below we will point out some over spray that lead to a messy dissolved looking print. with the over spray it also caused some lighter areas to appear after printing.

Printing the Plate:

Print 1. no fraying yet put noticeable over sprayed edges.

Print 1, shellac on the length of the right side of the plate was over shellacked causing a blur and light colored printing.

Print 5. some fray makes are occurring in the print and right side of image is a noticeable lighter and blurry spots.

Print 5 more frays are noticed

Close up photo of the shellac over spray in the print


  • no fraying appears in the first print
  • more fraying begins to appear as we continue to print more images
  • Shellac is easy to over spray
  • spraying the edges was difficult and hard not to over spray
  • if it was an option to paint shellac on the edges it may have been easier and less messy looking as a finished print
  • is possible to brush it on

NOTE: Shellac is not the best option if you are trying to stay green but if there is no spray booth or air brush available to you then Shellac is a good alternative to Pledge Floor Cleaner. For the next test we should paint on the Pledge Floor Cleaner, this may allow for more control

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