Friday, April 20, 2007

Photopolymer Plates experiments

Yesterday and today I spent experimenting with photo polymer plates to use as custom molds for precious metal and/or silver art clay. Photo polymer plates are metal or plastic backed polymer emulsions that are UV sensitive. This is the project I was supposed to do with Joanne when she came to visit, but I couldn't stop gabbing, so it didn't happen.
Full directions are on Maggie Berman's site, and even more directions are on
First you make a very black and white negative. I had a picture of my nephews eye and a spider drawing which I then converted to black and white in adobe photoshop. This was my first time ever using photoshop. DJ was kind enough to give me a few starting pointers when she was here a while back, and from my metalclay yahoo group I was able to get command by command instructions on how to make the conversion to black and white.

These are the originals....

....and the black and white negatives made in photoshop

PPP sandwich set up - Raw PPP plate with double layered negative transparency all sandwiched between masonite and clear glass and then clamped tight with clips.

The negative artwork was then printed on inkjet transparency sheets. I was fortunate to buy 10 pounds of photopolymer plates off of ebay, for mucho cheap. This is "rigilon" and that I am using in the photos. My DH bought me a 36 watt manicurists UV lamp (that I can use for my nail polish, too!) to use to expose the PPP's. Through trial and error I discovered the exposure time I needed and the proper way and amount of time to do the washout. I was very discouraged yesterday, as I could not get any depth to my plates. Then I used a black paper cutout instead of a transparency black and white drawing - and it worked great! So I put two identical transparencies together and lo and behold, today when i tried that, it made the black drawing lines black enough, and it WORKED....and it's fast and repeatable!
Here are my developed plates:

Now I can use them to roll my silver metal clay over and then fire into custom designed pendants. HMMM. Maybe I'll fill the depressions with colored enamels?
This technique is supposed to be great for making tiny raised lettering on the silver..... or maybe for a signature stamp?
Tomorrow I will be firing my gecko. Let's see - what else? oh, I worked on...oh gads, I swore I wouldn't do anymore- CHARMS. Don't ask.


Joanne Huffman said...

When can we get together to play with this? These look sooo cool! Connie, I can hardly wait to see what you do with these. And, I want to see the gecko. And I want to see the charms. And, I miss you!

Dianne said...

Connie these are brilliantly done, they look fantastic, can't wait to see you play with these.. I'm really glad you posted your blog on group.. You are a really good artist,
you have a great sence of color.
You have your own unique style, a good eye for details. You like to take pics like I do:):)
Your also lucky to be able to create in art in lots of different mediums..
I'm going to add you to my links if you don't mind, I'm making out a new linc's link today..
Really enjoyed you inspiring blog thanks and have a creative day...