Explorative Solar Plate Etching

6 weeks course starting tomorrow!

tabis header 3

6 weeks course starts tomorrow, 24th October, DC Eastbourne, 11am – 1:30pm.

You do not need to book all 6 sessions but if you like to get a print after introduction to the exposure options you need to book 2 sessions. If you’ve been on the taster sessions,  please come in to print your plates. Get in touch so I am able to ensure I have enough material on the day.

Solar-Plate-Collagraph and Solar-Plate-Collage

The introduction day on Saturday to solar plate etching using real sun light exposure or a UV exposure box was a real treat again. Artist Tabi Turner and Sue Sergeant experimented with different techniques of Solar-Plate-Collagraph and Solar-Plate-Collage.

Even with Storm Brian around, we found a moment of sun. We where finding out if we could expose a B&W paper copy onto the plate. We hold out for 10 min but unfortunately it wasn’t enough light and the plate stayed unexposed.

We did not gave up on the plate and  Sue experimented with pressing texture into the wet polymere surface of the unexposed area:

A process which created a similar look to a collagraph – the Solar-Plate-Collograph. Above you see the plate and print.

Below an example  by Tabi of creating the layout for the Solar Plate using indian ink drawings on tracing paper, mark resits and adding textured, semi transparent templates to the plate – the Solar-Plate -Collage. This plate was exposed for 3 minutes under the newly build UV exposure box.

We went back to expose the B&W paper copy onto the plate using the UV light box. To be sure the plate will be exposed we left it under the box for 2 hours – and got a result!

The plate might have been over exposed in some areas and next testing by gradually reducing the exposure time of the UV box should hopefully provide a shorter timeframe.

Below are some of the prints created:

sue solar collagraph

Printed by Sue Sergeant, using the Solar-Plate-Collargraph method.






tabi print no 1

Tabi Turners print using the Solar-Plate-Collage technique. This is one-plate print, inked up in two colours in intaglio and relief.





first UV box test print

My own little test print when using the newly build UV box the first time.

Time of exposure from 1- 3 min. The image used was a B&W photo of a textured graveyard stone, printed on acetate and the original has a light area in the middle.



By Nickova Behling

Taster Days for Solar Plate Etching using Natural Sunlight


The first Taster-Day, in Eastbourne, Sussex, UK went extremely well. All participants were up for the experiment of exposing the solar plate to the real sunlight.

Everyone had brought an image on acetate or mark resists transparent, either a drawing with Indian ink or a B&W photograph.

After explaining the process and possibilities of solar plate etching, as well as the unpredictability if using real sunlight exposure, all decided to go ahead and expose their plate to the sun.

Although it clouded over, the plates were well exposed with 3 minutes under the sky.

Developed in hand-warm water, air-dried with a hair dryer and hardened by further post exposure to the daylight, the plates were ready to be inked up and printed after our lunch break.

All prints came out very well and due to the individual templates used, to create the plate, the outcome were diverse in tone, contrast and composition.

Prints by:                 A Hyde, P Bartholomew, S Johnston and M Lindsdell

Next Taster-Days for Solar Plate Etching:

I will do another taster day on Saturday 21st, Oct, this week, 11am -4pm, £25 per day. Plates and printing paper to be purchased by me or bring your own, water based ink and cartridge paper for test prints will be freely provided. (We work with A5 size Toyobo plates from Lawrence).

People can also bring an A5 B&W photo image printed on acetate or draw their image on mark resist on the day.

I will give a detailed explanation of solar plate etching, different forms of the use of templates and the exposure with natural sunlight. Printing of the plate happens on the second half of the day.

Half-Day Introduction and possible exposure of a plate and 6 weeks course:

I am also starting a 6 weeks course from Tue 24th October with an introduction on Tue 24th – if anyone is interested this is only half day 11-13:30,including a theoretical introduction and the possibility to create a plate, but there will be no time for printing on Tue 24th. Printing will be possible in the 5 weeks afterwards. The 6 weeks course will also give time to explore variations of template exposure, creating texture plates and printing with multiple plates.

Cost for 6 week course or half day Introduction:

Half- day Introduction on 24th/10,    £15,

All 6 session, £90, advance booking necessary.

Leaving out the 1 intro session because you’ve been on a taster day, is £75 for the following 5 session. (Please pre book)

Cost includes ink (Water based intaglio/relief ink) and cartridge paper for test prints. It does not include the plate or printing paper. (Purchase from me: £6 for A5 Toyobo plate and £2 for A1 Fabriano paper. People can buy half size or share the paper) or bring your own.

Address for the workshop:

The Print Room,

Devonshire Collective Eastbourne,

DC2 Artist Studios & Makerspaces

137-139 Seaside Road, Eastbourne BN21 3PG

WEB: http://devonshirecollective.co.uk/

By Nickova Behling