Photographic Silk Aquatint Test 2 A and B – Printing Immediately After Exposing.

How long must you wait for the emulsion to dry after exposing the plate until you can print? 

Date: 10/3/17

Room Temperature: 64 Degrees Fahrenheit

Humidity: Low

Researchers: Mady Lacaprucia and McKenzie Stuetzel

For this experiment, we wanted to see if it is possible to print a plate the same day that you create the plate, instead of waiting a day for the exposed emulsion to cure. We followed the same procedure as Test 1 C for creating the plates, using 3 layers of emulsion applied with a squeegee. However, instead of waiting a day to print the plates, we blow-dried them for about fifteen minutes, shellacked them, and printed immediately. We found that this method worked just as well as waiting a day for the emulsion to dry. We inked the plates using Gamblin Bone Black, mixed with 00 burnt plate oil. We printed the plates on the Praga press set to medium pressure with a pusher and a catcher.

Plate A

One problem occurred during the coating of the emulsion. This test had us coating with three layers of emulsion, but the three layers needed to be thick, creating a thick layer of emulsion on the mesh. My plate had three thin layers applied to it and was slightly over exposed. this caused the print to show squeegee marks and loss of detailed lines.

Plate B

One problem that occurred when creating this plate was that when blow-drying the first coat of emulsion, the mesh started to bubble up in a few spots. We believe that this happened because the blow-dryer was held too close to the plate; when blow-drying the subsequent layers it was held farther away and the bubbling did not get worse, but it also never went away, and did show up in the final print.

Otherwise, this test produced the best results for this photographic image so far. The layers of emulsion applied to this plate were thicker than the layers applied to Plate A. This resulted in more detail and a slight increase in tonal range in the printed image. Therefore, we have concluded that it is not necessarily the number of layers applied that is important, but the thickness of the emulsion. One way to tell whether or not the emulsion has been applied thick enough is the color of the exposed emulsion (purple in the case of MacDermid Autotype 6000). If it is vibrant, as shown in the images below, it will print better.

Bubbles from the hair-drier.



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