Lithography is not only about drawing on limestones, like I thought, it is also possible to do some photo litho! For the photo litho you use a photo plate that has a light sensitive coating which means you can expose the plate with an image you want to print using UV light and then develop the plate in a darkroom, it reminded me of a mix between screen printing and film photography. Here I found a little video from Edinburgh Printmakers, they explain quite well I think.
So to try the photo plate for the first time me and Mandy drew on transparent paper a second layer for our first test stones. That looked like this:
And after all the exposing and developing the plate looked like this:
I chose a very vibrant green colour for my print, not a colour that I particularly like but hey, it’s just a test print!
So here is my plate and my green ink and everything is ready to go! It was a bit tricky to ink up the plate, the ink was very soft and the plate had to have just the right amount of water on it. It took me a few prints to get the inking right but I think by the end of it I was doing alright.
Here is the plate sitting on the press, waiting to be printed:
We used an etching press for this but not the lithography press.
Pretty prints in all colours! Some of the parts of the drawings didn’t come through on the plate during the exposing and developing which was a bit of a shame but all a part of the learning curve.
I like the traditional limestone lithography better than the photo litho, but I guess it can come in handy if you want to print some photos or letters or such.
Until next time, sjáumst!