Sunday, March 9, 2008

Carborundum Experimentation

I tried a few carborundum plates here this weekend. Notes:
  • Plate material: The 2mm thick clear plastic sheet worked well. Scrubbing with kitchen cleanser gave it good tooth, so the glue had a good surface with which to bond. I also wiped it with rubbing alcohol before I put down the glue lines. And since these plates were transparent, I traced drawings from my sketchbooks! (The lady below was on a plastic plate. Overall dimensions of the print are 7-1/2" x 11". She is one of the faces in this composite.)

    Regular drafting mylar worked well too, except the large carborundum areas cracked and started to peel up after a few pulls, and had to be re-glued. I believe that the mylar can be a bit too flexible for this process. But with care it can work just fine too. (The peaked hat gent above was on the mylar plate. Overall dimensions of this print are about 5" x 7".)
  • Glue: I used Titebond "Original Wood Glue" full strength, laid down with a bamboo pen. It worked very well.

    I made one plate with glue diluted with a bit of water, in an attempt to get finer lines, but this mix didn't stick to the plate at all. Lesson: Don't dilute!
  • Carborundum: I used the #180 size grit. I let the glue/carborundum areas dry overnight.
  • Sealing: The next day I used the spray can version of Polycrylic Protective Finish Clear Satin, by Minwax to seal the carborundum on the plate. And I believe that I put too much on. The carborundum lost some "tooth". The carborundum areas didn't feel at all vulnerable -- stuff was not coming off -- before that seal coat and I think just a very thin coat of this would serve fine.
  • Ink: I tried DSmith Water Soluble Relief Ink, Faust Aqualine Ink, and Akua Intaglio Ink and I like the last the best.

  • Paper: The paper was Rives BFK Heavyweight Paper in the color 'Tan', which I don't particularly like, but what the heck. These were experiments! I think that regular weight paper would have taken the embossing better and I will try that next time.

  • Press: I used the little Blick Econo Etch Model II, cranked down pretty tightly.

No comments: