Plate Preparation – Applying Ink

Posted on: September 27th, 2014
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2 Colours 

When you want to print with two colours, apply one colour to a specific area and wipe as desired, then apply the second colour and wipe it as well. You can apply as many colours as want, however it is difficult to keep the colours separate if you are working small. This technique is called a la poupée.

Flat Roll 

A flat or top roll is when you apply a flat, even, layer of ink to the top surface of a plate that has been wiped in the traditional intaglio method. The colour of the flat or top roll reads as a background colour once printed.

Wiping the Plate

Tarlatan: A coarse material made of cheesecloth and starch that is used to wipe ink off of an intaglio plate. If you have a new, clean, piece of tarlatan, you can scrunch it and run it back and forth on the leg of the press to soften it. Once it’s loose and soft, make a ball with a flat surface and start wiping in circular motions. The plate tone is what you’re wiping off.

Phone Book Pages: To remove more plate tone, use a small piece of phone book page paper or tissue. With the paper flat against the plate and the palm of your hand, gently rub the plate’s surface in small circular motions. You should be able to see the ink that you’ve removed on the paper.

Talcum Powder or French Chalk: You can use the talc powder/chalk to make your plate extra clean. You want to keep the ink in the lines, so proceed with a delicate touch. Put a small amount of powder on the outer edge of your hand and “kiss” the plate’s top surface, using a quick brisk motion. You can also apply the chalk with a Q-Tip for bright highlights.

Once you have wiped to your satisfaction, you can print!

Categorised under: Copper, Etching