relief Solarplate shown with print
Create Printing Plates Using the Sun!
Make relief or intaglio printing plates without toxic processing. Solarplates are easy to make and incredibly adaptable. Depending on the materials used to create the transparency, prints will resemble woodblock prints, etchings, lithographs, screen prints, or photogravure. There is no need for expensive equipment or toxic chemicals to create these durable plates.
The relief depth is 0.023" (0.5842mm) and the overall thickness (steel base plus photopolymer) is 0.0327" (0.83058mm).
No Flaws, No Dings
We do our best to make sure every Solarplate we send out is the highest quality. We carefully check each plate to make sure there are no flaws, dings or scratches in the emulsion before shipping it to you.
Fast and Easy Plate Making
To make a Solarplate print, a piece of artwork is copied or created on transparent film. The film is laid on top of the Solarplate polymer, which is both light sensitive and water-soluble. When light from the sun (or any UV light source) hits the plate, it hardens. The parts of the plate blocked from light remain soluble and are washed away with tap water. Intaglio plates are created from a positive image on the film; relief plates are created from negative images.
Either oil-based or soy-based inks can be used to create prints from Solarplates. Water-based ink can soften the photopolymer and are not recommended.
Store raw Solarplates sealed in heavy black plastic in a dry place at standard room temperature (68°-72° F), protected from exposure to light and kept away from localized heat sources such as windows, radiators or heating vents. Under no circumstances should the storage temperature of Solarplates exceed 80° F. Humidity of the storage area should not exceed 60%.
Because Solarplates are sensitive to ultraviolet light, it is a good idea to cover windows and room lights in the plate making and storage areas with UV-protected wrapping.
Plates should be used within 9-12 months of receipt.
Book and DVD Available
Filmed in the studio of master printmaker and educator Dan Welden, the Printmaking in the Sun DVD shows every step of making relief and intaglio prints using Solarplates.
Solarplate Notes by Barbara Mason is a short guide to Solarplate printmaking full of inspiring tips and ideas.