Solar Plate Printmaking

Miki Lovett | Nantucket, MA

Collision of Ideas | Etching by Miki Lovett, Nantucket, MAFor solar plate printmaking, first the artwork is prepared on glass or transparencies with light stopping opaque paint or ink.

Next the artwork is laid, face down, on the unexposed plate. The the ‘sandwich’ is exposed to light, either sunlight or in a special light box.

The plate is then lightly scrubbed to reveal the etching and then put back in the light for hardening. The plate is then ready to use for printmaking.

The print is made in essentially the same way that a copperplate etching is made. Oil based or water based ink is laid onto the etched plate. Then the ink is scrubbed with tarlatan to force the ink into the fine line. The plate is then wiped with paper and/or rags to remove excess ink. Additional inks can be rolled onto the surface.

The inked plate is then laid on the press bed with dampened paper over it and run through the press.

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