Sunday, February 20, 2011

Photopolymer Plates or Etching Plates?

Today, I spent all day in the studio playing with photopolymer plates. Recently I have been etching plates to use with my silver metal clay, but it’s a bit hit and miss with getting the PCB Paper to stick to the plate and not capture all of the image. It’s a lot of stuffing around with a hot iron and getting the toner from the laser printer to transfer to the plate.
I have photopolymer plates that are approximately A4 in size so they have to be cut down to the appropriate size. This is a job in itself. Tin snips give a ragged line and buckle the metal backing. A hack saw takes a lot of effort so I opted for a jigsaw with a metal blade.
The design is printed on to a transparency, which is place onto the photopolymer plate and exposed to UV light. The light hardens the exposed photopolymer and the areas that are not exposed (the black areas) are washed away leaving a deep impression.
A sheet of silver metal clay can then be pressed into the design and made into a piece of jewellery.
IMG_0010     This is the photopolymer plate with my design of redback spiders, two crows on a branch and a celtic design.

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