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  1. #1
    obreal's Avatar

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    Default First post: indirect emulsion and split fountain...

    Been lurking here a bit, don't have a lot of experience, but am venturing to try my first process thread, so please be gentle...

    I'm doing a print based on this photo I took last March in Ocean Beach:



    It's going to be a 3-color print: orange/yellow/orange split fountain base, a heavily transparented purple for the sky, and then the trees will be black (duh...).

    Up until now, everything I've done has been kind of small: this print's going to be 12x18, so I got bigger screens at mesh count of 250.

    Unfortunately, the bigger screens won't fit into the exposure unit I'm using, so I'm using this as an excuse to go with indirect emulsion. It's considerably more fiddly and process-intensive, but the detail is supposed to be better than direct.

    For those who don't know the process of using indirect emulsion, it goes as follows, starting with normal film positives:


    • Cut out a piece of the emulsion film (I'm using Ulano Blue-Poly-2) from the roll a little bit bigger than your film positive (working in a light-safe room)
    • Expose the emulsion according to directions (for this setup, 1000 watts, 20 inches, 10 minutes)

    Here's two of my colors being exposed at the same time:

    • Soak the exposed emulsion in a developer bath for ~2 minutes (I tend to run a little long on this, waiting for the "milky film" to totally detach from the emulsion)
    • GENTLY wash the developed emulsion with very hot water (I wash with even strokes of a wide, fine mist, until I stop seeing blue in the water)
    • Lay the washed emulsion down face-up on a flat surface, and lay the screen down print-side-up on top of it (taking care to lay the screen down as flat as possible so as to not have it drag across any of the soft, wet emulsion)
    • Lay newsprint down on the inside of the screen, and, with gentle pressure of a folded rag, soak as much of the water out of the emulsion as possible (again, taking care to not mash or squeeze the emulsion out of shape in the screen)


    Once this is done, the screens are set aside to dry:



    Once the screens have dried, the clear polyfilm backing the emulsion will peel away, leaving the stencil dried in the screen. Then I'll fill in the rest of the screen with water block, again set it aside to dry, and then we'll be ready to rock with the printing!

    I'll add more as we get there...
    Last edited by obreal; 12-11-2009 at 04:34 PM. Reason: Asshat typos...

  2. #2
    obreal's Avatar

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    Whoops: I had it stuck in my head that I was printing this at 12 x 18, but it's actually 10.75 x 16 (my new camera has a different aspect ratio). I only mention this because I'm sure someone out there is going to say "Hey, those don't look like they're in the right aspect ratio for 12 x 18...". Just sayin'.

  3. #3

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    OB?, South Beach's fish tacos rule.

  4. #4
    obreal's Avatar

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    Yeah, but I'm a Hodad's man...too many douchebags haunt the bars of OB these days.

  5. #5
    TeddyPancake's Avatar

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by obreal View Post
    Yeah, but I'm a Hodad's man
    Shit, thanks. Now I'm hungry. Hodad's rules.

  6. #6
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    quick question: why did you cut out the background like you did? seems like you might have some trouble with the trapping when you print the black...why didn't you do your split fountain on an un-cut out background, then just print the black over it? not busting balls or anything, i was just interested. also, i've never seen that indirect emulsion before...definitely want to know how well it works.

  7. #7
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    Andymac's Avatar

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    Want to print waterbase inks?

    Forget about indirect.

    I didn't think they even made it anymore.

    I take it you (obreal) are printing solvent ink?
    Andymac

    services www.squeegeeville.com
    equipment www.tmiscreenprinting.com

    Todo es empezar.

  8. #8
    obreal's Avatar

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    @Andy: Nazdar 5500, going onto Canson Editions. I inherited a crapload of it, might as well print it.

    The guy I've learned to print from is a bit of a throwback: when I first started working with him a couple years ago, he was 100% indirect, but over the last couple of years, he's been cadgered into using direct emulsions, and now he's doing nothing but. We've got a bunch of the indirect emulsion sitting around, and with my screensize/exposure limitation, I figured indirect was a simple solution. I *definitely* am concerned about the emulsion breaking down, and we've also had some trouble getting the stencils to adhere (or peeling off when we pulled off the polyfilm), so this adventure is by no means whatsoever over or guaranteed--but that's the point, yeah?
    Last edited by obreal; 12-11-2009 at 07:57 PM. Reason: Expansion of answer...

  9. #9
    obreal's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by caribou View Post
    quick question: why did you cut out the background like you did? seems like you might have some trouble with the trapping when you print the black...why didn't you do your split fountain on an un-cut out background, then just print the black over it? <snip>...
    Um, not sure, really. There's a couple of points along the edge of the final design that the background will form the border, and I'm going for a nice solid border all the way around, so it needed to be the full background. Also, the split-fountain layer is gonna be the "sealer" for the paper, everything else will be on top of it...

    I hope this makes sense: if I'm talking like I've got cranial-rectal-insertion-disorder, I trust that y'all will set me straight...

    I've done a couple other prints (under instructor supervision) with indirect, so I know it works well (sphere, wildfire sunset). My biggest concern is areas of tiny detail filling in: I'm going to be paying more attention to this during printing, and cleaning the screen more frequently to remove any fill-ins.

  10. #10
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    the cracking off/breaking down is one of the major drawbacks to indirect. they invented Cappillex style emulsion that eliminates that a bit more.

    I'm with Caribou on that second color for the purple sky. You could just use the same b/g screen for the original split and run the purple down into clear. then your register can stay the same if you clean the screen in place.

    Get some 'sharp printing compound' or microprint gel or whatever they call it for the 5500 - it's a clear retarder paste and keeps solvent ink open like crazy.
    Andymac

    services www.squeegeeville.com
    equipment www.tmiscreenprinting.com

    Todo es empezar.

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