You may be asking yourselves what is Solarplate? It is a revolutionary and versatile method of printmaking created by master printmaker, Dan Welden in 1972, to create an etching or photo-etching plate using solar energy, developing the image with water. Solarplate is a non-acid, non-toxic method that produces extraordinary results.
This technique claimed to be a wonderful process for painters, mixed-media, and photo-based artists to create fine art limited edition prints and installations. So I had to give it a try!!!
For this workshop I had to prepare in advance the images I wanted to experiment with in the class. I had to create positive images (5 X 7 inches each), either hand-drawn or photo based, on a translucent or transparent material, such as clear/frosted Mylar or acetate.
|Here are some of the images |
I hand-drew for the class
For the hand-drawn images I had to use opaque materials, like pencils, inks, gouache, acrylics, oils, litho crayons, etc. For my drawings I chose to work with pencils and ink.
|Working to create more depth|
and line definition to get a nicer print
|The drawings are placed |
|...and covered with the Solarplate Box|
|We turned the UV light on |
for a few minutes...
|After the plate had been exposed to the light, |
we brushed the emulsion off with water, to get the image
imprinted on the plate...
|...but we need to expose it to the sun light, |
once again, so the emulsion hardens.
Here's a little video I took from Julio Valdez explaining the process...
Now we are ready to start printing!!!
|Julio Valdez is explaining |
how to ink the plates
|Here are my inked plate and the original |
drawing next to it.
|..and voilà! The first print comes out!|
We also did a reverse method to etch the plate (Embossing). By inking the plate, before exposing it to the light, my daughter (who took the weekend workshop with me) and I did a collaborative plate...
|Using wooden sticks, cotton swabs... |
I started taking some of the ink away
to make my drawing...
|Here's my basic drawing|
|My daughter adding her magic touch!|
|a sneak peak to her wonderful mark making!!|
|The finished drawing was exposed to the UV light |
and the whole process described above is repeated
until we got the finished embossed plate.
|The plate was placed on the press bed...|
|...and here's our little collaborative project result!!|
We made a few more plates and prints, from the different drawings we brought during that wonderful weekend for both, my daughter and I. Back into my studio, I have been using some of my prints for my mixed media artworks, and here's one of them...
encaustic mixed media
(c) Corina S. Alvarezdelugo
NOTE: The bees in "El Panal" are Solarplate prints.
NEW!!! Want to learn this technique but using the sun instead of the UV-light Solarplate box? Join the Dorothy Cochran's workshop at my studio. She'll be coming all the way from New Jersey to teach us the technique she uses for her fabulous Solarplate prints!! For information about her workshop click HERE!