Monday, December 7, 2015

Sugar skulls - preparing the drawing for the photopolymer plate

Once the design has been decided on, it's time to make the photopolymer plate.  The plate is a piece of metal covered with a light sensitive emulsion.  It is kept in complete darkness until it's time to "cure" the plate and create the design.

The first step in the process is to take the finished design and print it onto a transparency sheet.  If you are as old as I am, you'll remember these as what was used to create a presentation on an overhead projector (those are obsolete too.)  The one thing that has to be remembered is that what ever is black in the drawing is what will be raised on the finished silver piece.  Sometimes it is during this step when I have a "Senior Moment" kick in.  (Too many of those..... moments!)
Remember..... what is black will be raised in the final piece.  This is what I wanted my finished pieces to look like........ This is not what my first few finished plates turned out like.

Sometimes after a design is decided on, it is necessary to invert the back and white to get the desired effect.  I inverted my drawing for some of my first plates.......... which gave them a whole different look than the one I was going for.    But........ it wasn't a failure....... just different.

This is what the design looks like using the first drawing.  This is rather large and is not yet finished as I want to add color in the form of resin or enameling.  

How it looks using the inverted drawing.  (This is unfired, dry clay.)
What a difference it makes.  

In my next post,  I'll share the photopolymer process itself.  (I just love making them and using them!)

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