Photographic Silk Aquatint Test 4 A and B: Fabric Change, Silkscreen Mesh 160

Will we be able to get a better quality image with a different fabric and mesh size?

Room Temperature: 67 F

Humidity: Not humid

Name: Mady Lacaprucia and McKenzie Stuetzel Date: 10/17/17

Our goal for this experiment is to use silkscreen 160 mesh instead of organza, to determine whether or not this mesh works better for this procedure and produces a better quality image. The only difference in the procedure of this experiment is the change of fabric from organza to the silkscreen 160 mesh. We are still applying three coats of emulsion, and exposing our plates for five minutes, as so far this has seemed to work the best with our exposure unit. This mesh is twice as fine as the organza; when viewed under a magnifying loop, in 1/8th of an inch there are four squares of the organza mesh, while there are eight squares of the silkscreen mesh in 1/8th of an inch.  We blow-dried the plates for about fifteen minutes, shellacked them, and printed immediately. We inked the plates using Gamblin Bone Black, mixed with burnt plate oil. We printed the plates on the Praga press set to medium pressure with a pusher and a catcher.

Organza viewed through a magnifying loop.


Silkscreen 160 mesh viewed under a magnifying loop.

Silkscreen 160 mesh coated with the acrylic paint and water mix.

Evaluation of Plate Preparation: It was easier to get this mesh to hold taught in the embroidery hoop, as it is a little bit stiffer than the organza. With the organza there would often be a slight rippling of the mesh around the edges of the hoop where it would not hold tightly, but this did not happen with the silkscreen mesh – it stayed very flat. One thing to note with the silkscreen mesh is that particles such as hair or lint from clothing sticks very easily to the mesh, so to be careful about debris.

Plate A

This plate was exposed for five minutes. Overall, this plate printed well. The image still has some lost lines, which could be due to a slight overexposure, but not as much was lost as in previous prints. The plate wiped very easily and produced a clean print, but still there were some large areas that were too easily wiped out when using tarlatan to prepare the plate for printing.

Plate A

Plate A Print 1


While wiping the plate, the edges of the fabric seemed to fray more easily than the organza mesh. Maybe looking into another method of sealing the PETG plate with the mesh other than using the acrylic paint and water mix would help.

Plate B

This plate was exposed for five minutes. This print has more tonal variation than any of the previous prints so far. Many of the finer details that got lost in previous prints are present in this one, due to the finer mesh. There are still some fine details that are not showing up, however. The white areas were also able to be wiped much cleaner than previous plates. We believe that this is due to the emulsion laying down more smoothly on the silkscreen mesh than the organza, therefore leaving a smoother surface for wiping. This would make sense, as the emulsion is intended to be used on silkscreen mesh.


Plate B

Plate B Print 1

<Previous Experiment                                                                                                                                              Next Experiment>