Toyobo Photopolymer Plate Etching

clown triptych etching with monoprint
Clown Triptych
Clown Triptych black and wite
Clown Triptych Black and white

I created and proofed my first Toyobo Photopolymer plate on Tuesday.  Rather than start with the larger ‘Falling Angel’ image, I painted a series of small ink paintings on duralar for wet media.  I was able to be very loose and relaxed with the paint on the duralar, and choose the images that worked best to make into plates.  The images are based on drawings from my sketchbook.

After exposing the plate to an aquatint screen, I exposed 3 paintings side by side on one plate, then washed out and hardened the plate.  While my intention had been to cut the plate into 3, I kept them together to proof.

I was happily surprised by the level of detail and the range of grays that showed up, including light washes, ink splatters, and brush strokes within shapes.  Next I worked on inking variations, and mono print layering. I like the images next to one another, so for now I will leave them connected.

Back at Zea Mays

I am thrilled to be back at Zea Mays Printmaking in Florence, Massachusetts!  I have a full month of workshops and studio time planned.  I begin with ‘Pronto’ or polyester plate lithography with monoprint,  in a private session with Nancy Diessner.  We discussed these 2  versions of the image ‘Falling Angel’, and the trouble I was having working with litho crayon and china marker on the pronto plate.  Unlike an image transferred by laser print or drawn with sharpie, the crayon washed off the plate rather quickly in the process of printing.  So since I preferred the crayon mark I had to keep re-drawing the image.

Falling Angel St 2 Litho with monoprint
Falling Angel 2
Falling Angel State1
Falling Angel 1 pronto plate litho with monoprint


Nancy suggested creating a photopolymer etching plate of the basic image, in order to make more stable prints of the ‘drawing’ and allow for focus on variations in inking and monoprint processes.  She uses TOYOBO PRINTIGHT PLATES, rather than the SOLAR PLATES that I have used in the past.

We had a quick tutorial in how to make this kind of plate in the clean and safe darkroom she helped create at Zea Mays.  We created and proofed a couple of tests drawn with china marker and litho crayon directly onto Duralar, as well as and one painted with india ink onto Duralar. ToyoboTestStrips

These test strips were exposed onto the plate for varying lengths of time.  When I printed the test strip plates I was very happy to see that the grays and textures of the brush strokes and crayon marks were on there.

A month of printmaking at Zea Mays

Photopolymer Intaglio with monoprint
Angry Child III – Photopolymer Intaglio with monoprint

I just returned from a month of printmaking at Zea Mays Printmaking in Florence, Massachusetts.  I  learned  about different ways of making marks and textures, as well as how to set up a studio in as healthy and non toxic manner as currently possible.  I studied transfer drawing, monoprint, pronto plate and drypoint with Liz Chalfin, Joyce Silverstone, Nancy Diessner and Meredith Broberg.  The studio is a wonderful sunlit airy place to work and I had a blast!

Now I am back in Brooklyn setting up my studio in a different space, and using what I learned at Zea Mays to make my own mini-non-toxic print studio.  Photos to come!




Recently I have been exploring printmaking.  The whole field has changed completely since I first experimented with printmaking in college.   There are so many less toxic ways to make images…  This piece, Swing! was first created as a brush and ink painting.  The painting was scanned and printed out onto acetate in order to create a solar plate.  In addition to inking the plate with black, I applied colored inks to to raised areas of the plate.

Swing! is part of a children’s book that I have been developing.