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. You will also explore the effects of applying different pressures for different periods of time on your embossed image.
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 the ink, using a brayer and ink on a glass plate.|
|2. Getting the ink to coat the brayer uniformly.|
|3. Wipe plate with isopropyl alcohol to remove greasy finger prints. Apply the ink to the etched plate. Make certain your ink application is even and not too thick. Try to keep ink out of recessed areas. Hold plate by its edges and wipe ink from edges|
|4. Checking the inked plate.|
|5. Preparing a template for the print involves several steps:|
|b. Tracing edges/corners with a pencil|
|6. Select papers for your experiment (take two of a particular kind of paper). Soak one of each kind of paper for at least 15 minutes in a tray of water.|
|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|
|8. Several prints can be pressed at the same time.|
|9. Cover carefully with two felts.|
|10. The hydraulic press ready for boards to be inserted.|
|11. Insert press board into press and apply pressure.|
|12. For a start, keep pressure between 3000 - 4000 psi for 30 seconds. Release pressure and observe results. Document your results on your print, ex. Wet 3000 30 sec..|
|13. Removing embossed image from etched plate. Carefully remove paper from image, so as not to smear the ink.|
|14. Embossing only, no ink.|
11. Inked and embossed image. Set image out to dry, on drying board.
Clean plate with mineral spirits and isopropyl alcohol. Repeat from step 3.
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