Photographic Silk Aquatint Test 8 – Process Change

Name: Mady Lacaprucia and McKenzie Stuetzel Date: 11/7/17 – 11/24/17

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

Experiment Title: Test 8 – Adhesive Process Change

Experiment Goal: To see if changing the order of the process will allow for a better image to be produced. We believe that the adhesives being used may affect the emulsion removal process, and could be causing the problem that we’ve been repeatedly experiencing of the emulsion rubbing off where it is not supposed to. Therefore, instead of attaching the mesh to the plate and then applying the emulsion, we are starting the procedure by applying emulsion to the stretched silkscreen mesh using an embroidery hoop and exposing our image and washing it out, then adhering the screen to the PETG plate using double-tack adhesive in hopes to achieve better tonal variation and to reduce or eliminate the issues when washing the emulsion. In our previous test, we discovered that double-tack adhesive sheets work well to adhere mesh to a plate and can withstand wiping without peeling, so we are using this to adhere our exposed mesh to the plate.

Process:

PLATE A: Application of emulsion to mesh is the same for both experiments. We stretched the silkscreen 160 mesh in an embroidery hoop, and did not attach it to a plate. Instead, we applied a single coat of emulsion to it and let it dry. Then we exposed the plates for five minutes and washed away the emulsion in the sink, using our fingers to carefully help remove the emulsion. We reattached the mesh in the embroidery hoop to allow more stability for the washing out of the emulsion.

PLATE B: Application of emulsion to the mesh is the same for both experiments.

For this second experiment, we are washing out the emulsion in the mesh by hand. We did not re-stretch the mesh in the hoop. This seemed to work just as fine.

NOTE: The process of washing away the emulsion seemed to be easier and far less worrisome. Usually what happens while washing away the excess emulsion is that it begins to feel slimy and slippery around the exposed areas. This always concerned us that we might be washing too little or too much out of the screen, as oftentimes during this step, emulsion that was not supposed to be removed would easily fall off. However, when washing the emulsion out of the screen that was unattached to a plate, all the areas that were exposed washed out without a problem and the sliminess went away fairly quick.

Creating the Plate

We used double-tack adhesive sheets to attach the washed-out screen to the plate. We peeled one side of the sheet off, and placed it carefully onto the plate, pressing down with another piece of PETG the entire time to really smooth down the sheet and make sure that no air bubbles got caught in between. We then ran the plate through the press to really press down the sheet before peeling off the top protective layer of the adhesive sheet. After we peeled that off, we layed the mesh on top and ran it through the press again, and then shellacked the plate. We also printed one plate that was not shellacked.

The shellacked plate.

The un-shellacked plate.

Printing the Plate

We used Gamblin Bone Black ink mixed with 00 burnt plate oil and printed on Hahnemuhle Copper White using a Takach press with a pusher and sizing catcher set to medium pressure.

The shellacked plate and its spotty texture.

Conclusion: The prints came out very dark. We did not have any white areas as the plate was holding a lot of ink. We also got a spotted texture in the prints, which we thought may have been a result of spraying shellac too closely to the plate, so we printed another plate without shellacking it. This print was also very dark and had no white areas, but no spotty-ness. These are not our best prints and we can absolutely push the process to get brighter whites, maybe changing the bit-map, Shellacing process, or order of adhesive application can get us what we are looking for in our final prints.

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