Saturday, February 1, 2020

New Year - New Challenges

My guy surprised me with a fabulous Xmas present - an Ink Jet printer. 

Whenever I've worked in a photopolymer studio setting, I've noticed that they create their film positives using an ink jet rather than a laser printer. The quality of the image always seemed spot on.

 Today I finally had a chance to do some testing with my new printer.

I created the film yesterday and let it dry over night. I was excited by the clarity of the image.

This morning I was eager to see how the film would work so didn't bother with small step-test Solarplates. I lost some of the subtle values with a bit too much exposure but liked what I saw after processing the plate; lots of detail.

I was also eager to try some Gamblin oil based ink. I was surprised to find that many workshops use oil based ink when printing their Solarplates claiming it produced a better image. Some even mix the Akua ink with the oil based.

Being a devoted Akua user, it's been awhile since I've used oil based ink and had forgotten how different it is to wipe the plate - more labor intensive. I printed on damp Arnham paper and ended up with a decent print.

For comparison, I inked the plate with Akua Intaglio soy based ink. Much easier to wipe. Same damp paper was used and I ended up with another good print.

Here are the two proofs side by side. The Akua ink on the left and the Gamblin to the right. There is less plate tone with the Akua but both inks produced a good print. I like the Akua one better but more experimenting is planned.

I think I'll continue to play around with this plate and use it for an upcoming exchange portfolio.

So, I'm off to a good start and hope to get some momentum going for a decent 2020 in the studio.

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