Photographic Silk Aquatint Test 7 – Types of Adhesive

Test 7 – Type of Adhesive

Name: Mady Lacaprucia and McKenzie Stuetzel Date: 11/7/17-11/14/17

Room Temperature: 67 F, Not humid, kind of dry

Ink: Akua Mars Black modified with Magnesium Carbonate

Paper: Hahnemuhle Copper White

Experiment Goal: To try to find the best type of adhesive to attach the mesh to our plate.

Materials: PETG, silkscreen mesh 160, acrylic paint, water, tacky glue, Neutral pH Adhesive, wax paper, praga press, press blankets, printing paper, paint brush, GAC-100, Pledge Floor Care Finish, Acrylic Gloss Medium, Double Tack Adhesive Sheet, Shellac


  1. Small piece of PETG Plate and Silkscreen mesh 160.

step 1

2. Apply acrylic paint and water mix to piece of PETG plate, apply with brush then use card to squeegee it on smoothly.

step 2

3. Apply the silkscreen mesh to the adhesive and pat it down.

step 3

4. Immediately take the plate and wrap it in wax paper and run through the press. This will flatten the mesh to the plate in hopes that no air bubbles arise.

step 4

step 4

5. Pull the wax paper off from the PETG plate and mesh after running it through the press, then allow it o dry.

step 5

6. Cut plate into smaller piece in order to allow the screen to have contact with every side.

Cut plate

7. Apply ink and wipe plate with tarletan, this allows us to examine how well the mesh stays on attached to the plate with the different adhesives used when inking.

inking plate

8. Print the tiny plates, this gives us an incite on how the image may print. Texture may arrive from different adhesives used.

printed plate

Types of Adhesives

EXPERIMENT 1: ½ Acrylic paint and ½ water

experiment 1

We did not print this plate, as the mesh was peeling off of the plate very badly and clearly was not the best solution.

EXPERIMENT 2: ½ Acrylic paint and ½ Elmer’s glue

experiment 2

This is another plate that we did not print as it peeled immediately.

EXPERIMENT 3: ½ Acrylic paint and ½ tacky glue

experiment 3

inking plate 3

printed plate 3

This plate peeled very badly when we started to wipe it.

EXPERIMENT 4: ½ Acrylic paint and ½ Neutral pH (PVA) adhesive

experiment 4

inking plate 4

printed plate 4

This plate also peeled very badly when inked and wiped.

EXPERIMENT 5: Acrylic paint

experiment 5

inking plate 5

printed plate 5

Another plate that peeled.

EXPERIMENT 6: Elmer’s glue (looked a little watery, may have been old)

experiment 6

inking plate 6

printed plate 6

This plate did not peel as dramatically as some of the previous, but it still peeled at the edges.

EXPERIMENT 7: Tacky glue

experiment 7

inking plate 7

printed plate 7

This plate barely peeled at the edges, but it still did leave a noticeable texture, and with repeated printing we suspect it only would have continued to peel even more.

EXPERIMENT 8: Neutral pH adhesive (PVA)

experiment 8

inking plate 8

printed plate 8

This plate peeled minimally, and had a pretty even texture when printed.


Experiment 9

inked plate 9

print 9

This plate also peeled minimally, but the texture is very noticeable.

EXPERIMENT 10: Pledge Floor Care Finish

Experiment 10

This plate peeled so much that we did not print it.

EXPERIMENT 11: Acrylic Gloss Medium

Experiment 11

inked plate 11

print 11

This plate peeled minimally and printed with a texture that wasn’t overly dramatic.

EXPERIMENT 12: Double Tack Adhesives Sheet

Experiment 12

inked plate 12

print 12

This plate was by far the best test out of all of them. It did not peel, and the print was beautiful with a very even texture. Applying the sheet of double-tack took a little bit of practice however, as the first two times we did it we got air bubbles stuck in between the sheet and the plate. We discovered that the best way to apply the sheet to achieve no bubbles was to carefully lay down an edge of the sheet on the plate, and use a piece of PETG to apply pressure while smoothing down the rest of the sheet, then running it through a press to really adhere the sheet to the mesh.

EXPERIMENT 13: Shellac

Experiment 13

inked plate 13

print 13

The shellac adhered the mesh to the plate very well and did not peel, but the texture of the print is spotty.

Conclusion: After an hour of letting these experiments sit to dry, we tested their resistance by trying to gently lift the mesh off of the plate with our fingers. We noticed that when trying to pull off the mesh from the PETG plate that most of the experiments seemed easy to pull of gently with no resistance.

Wiping and printing plates: While we were applying and wiping the ink from the plate using the tarlatan, we noticed some plates were not handling the wiping very well. It seems that the plates with the glue adhesives withstand more aggressive wiping than the others. The textures that show up during the printing process are also going to have an effect on the final printed image, which was another factor in our choice of adhesive. Plates 6, 7, 8, 12, and 13 stood out as being the most successful tests, with Plate 12 (Double-Tack Adhesive sheet) being a clear top choice. We will next try to use the adhesive sheet to attach a pre-coated and exposed mesh to a plate.

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