Solar Plate Etching Process (Photo-Etching)
A solar plate is a polymer light-sensitive plate which can be etched and inked and run through a printing press. In photography, a transparent "negative" is laid on the solar plate and the solar plate is exposed to UV light (either in direct sunlight or in a UV box). Rather than use acids to etch the plate, water is used to wash away the unexposed polymer. The plate is then dried and re-exposed to light to harden it. Finally, the etched solar plate is inked and run through a printing press. Another name for this process is “polymer photogravure”.
These etchings are based on photographs taken of the California Missions and done during my Artist in Residency at KALA Art Institute in Berkely, CA . They are printed on Arches Watercolor paper. Image sizes are 5” x 7”.