Purpose: To print a satisfactory embossed image. In order to do this, you will determine the best paper and optimal conditions for printing an embossment. You will explore different textures and weights of paper and the effect of soaking these papers in water.
If the plate has not been etched, see instructions for Etching a Zinc Plate.
The experiment was largely designed by Carolyn E. Fitz.
Each of the images below can be enlarged by clicking on the image of interest.
|1. Preparing a template for the print involves several steps:|
|b. Tracing edges/corners with a pencil|
|2. Select papers for your experiment. Soak each piece of paper for at least 15 minutes in a tray of water.|
|3. Preparing the ink, using a brayer and ink on a glass plate…|
|…getting the proper consistency and, when mixing colors, getting a uniform color.|
|3. Wipe plate with isopropyl alcohol to remove greasy finger prints.|
|4. Ink the plate, using a small piece of cardboard to drag ink across the plate and into the etched grooves.|
|5. Wipe excess ink from the plate with another piece of cardboard. Discard the inky pieces of cardboard after using.|
|6. Using a foot square piece of taffeta, wipe the sruface of the plate clean, leaving ink in the grooves.|
|7. When your paper is through soaking, remove excess water from it by placing it between blotter papers and applying pressure with a rolling pin or plastic drink bottle. Place your template on the press board. Place your clean, etched plate face up on your template...|
|and center your sheet of paper over the plate, using the edges of the template to alin the paper properly.|
|8. Lay down the felts…|
|…and run the plate and paper through the press.|
|9. Lift the felts carefully, one at a time, and then lift the paper from the metal plate.|
10. Set image out to dry, on drying board.
Clean plate with mineral spirits and isopropyl alcohol. Repeat from step 4.
Experiment with different kinds of paper, wet and dry, and try different pressures for different periods of time. Keep experimenting until you achieve a satisfactory embossment.
John Bordley, 2002 (modified 2005)