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Solarplate is a light sensitized steel-backed polymer material used by artists as an alternative to hazardous printing techniques. It is a simple, safe, and fast approach to etching and relief printing that does not use grounds, acids or solvents. It is exposed with UV light and developed with ordinary tap water.
Work on the plate directly with opaque materials in the form of non-waterbased pigments, or it may be utilized by exposing the plate through a transparent film with artwork on it. Solarplate is available in a variety of sizes.
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™ Solarplate is a trademark.
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(based on 13 reviews)
of respondents would recommend this to a friend.
Reviewed by 13 customers
Displaying reviews 1-10
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from Boston ma
Comments about Solarplate:
successfully exposed with aquatint screen and film positive. even though these are a safer option, wish they didn't smell while developing.
Bottom Line Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
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The gold one is the one to buy
from Bergen county, NJ
These are much better than the orange plates spelled with 2 words, these are spelled as one word. Solar plates are tricky to make and using one in test strips before is worth doing
By Ann Over
from Green Valley, AZ
Six people arrived to watch me use the solarplate. It was a cloudy day in Arizona as monsoon season ended. The sun came out for a few minutes, we exposed the plate for one minute, washed it out and will print at our next meeting. We are a retirement community examining many forms of printmaking. At age eighty five, I am etching images very whimsical. And I am always in my wheelchair. Teaching, learning, experimenting! Solarplate is exciting product.
Gold "Solarplate" superior to the Orange, "Solar Plate"
from Teaneck, NJ
If purchasing photo sensitive plates the Gold Solarplates (spelled in ONE WORD,) are much better than the less expensive orange ones (spelled in 2 WORDS "Solar plate"I had a problem with the way Blick shipped a few of the plates - they were not wrapped in black and therefore can be exposed to light during the handling phase of shipping - but they quickly shipped replacements out to me.
(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)
These new plates are terrific
By Printing Granny
from Salt Lake City, Utah
I've had a chance this week of trying out these new solarplates, and even in the cold winter, hazy, angled sun, they turned out better than expected. The lines are clean, crisp and clear, the wash-out time was quick, and I am delighted. The plates do come with a clear plastic coating, so be sure to remove it before exposure.
the new solarplate
from new mexico
First any review older that 2015 is about the LAST version of the solarplate medium, the current NEW formulation is much better, especially for photo gravure.This is a winner:1. much better detail 2. better mid-range tonality3. plate surface has a protective plastic coverMy understanding is this version has no toxicity, and used with akua [soy based] inks the studio become a very safe environment.
Superior to other brands
Solarplate brand photopolymer plates are superior to the competition, KM Photopolymer Plates. they are the perfect thickness for traditional etching or to use as a relief plate. It has been my experience that Solarplates give you a consistent quality print and hold up much better to repeat printings and are ideal for a high school art classroom.They work great with Akua inks for a truly water based etching unit. No solvents and no acids needed.
(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)
Ready to print in minutes
By Bo the printmaker
from Porter Beach, Indiana
I'm really pleased with the consistently good results using Solarplates. With the new reduced exposure guidelines, I was able to expose three plates in under one hour.
(4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)
had my issues about last buy
from CSN las Vegas NV
in the past I had bad experience with one plate, it was cracked on the edges, I did not send it back because I was in a rush with my work I just trim it.
Bottom Line No, I would not recommend this to a friend
(35 of 35 customers found this review helpful)
from Ventura, CA
I decided to test a solar plate about a year ago because I had heard it was less toxic than the traditional intaglio process and less complicated. I was a little skeptical at first but when I pulled my first print I was HOOKED! The clarity and tonal range is incredible and with practice you can capture even the most subtle gray scale changes. Once you get the hang of the process you will love it because it is easy, non-toxic, a super fast process (less than 30 minutes from start to finish), versatile (drawing, photography, intaglio or relief) and produces consistent results. I wish someone had told me the following when I first started so I'm passing this on to you.Exposure times vary and this will be the most frustrating aspect of the process. If you don't want to buy Dan Welden's book (don't bother with the video, pretty but not very informative) or take a solar plate class, then check on line and you will get the general exposure times. You can tweak it from there. You don't need an exposure unit right away, use the sun. I've used both but strangely enough I prefer the sun. Wash out time for intaglio is 1 minute, don't go over or it will soon turn into a relief plate. If you are using the solar plate for relief then I've found a 4-7 minute wash out works well. You will also need a aquatint screen for your larger areas of black (bigger than a dime) or to achieve those dark blacks. You can not get around it so don't even waste plates trying. Dick Blick does not carry Aquatint screens but you can find them with other printmaking suppliers on line. Start small with 5x7 and stick with it until you get a good grasp of the process. The 8x10 can have contact issues so it is best to know the basics first.Hit Dick Blick's sales and you will find the solar plates cheaper here than any where else. Only draw back is that they wrap the plates in VERY cheap UV protection plastic and in several orders I've had plates arrive with ripped packaging and the plate's edges were hardened and cracked from exposure. Dick Blick is good about sending out replacements but I don't always have the time or the patience to deal with problems that could be avoided if the product had been adequately protected in the first place. Other suppliers use much thicker UV protective wrap for this very reason. Solar plates may seem complicated at first but once you get the hang of it you'll never go back to the old acid baths. Good luck and have fun!
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