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Thread: Silver Clay Hand/Foot Print

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    22

    Default Silver Clay Hand/Foot Print

    Hello everyone,

    I am hoping someone can shed some light on how to create a stamp on photopolymer plate. I know there is another thread that explains the process and I have followed this but still can't seem to get it right. My first few attemps left no impression on the photopolymer plate, yesterday I tried again and managed to get the image transfered to the plate but it was not raised just flat transfer. (Hope that makes sense)

    In most instructions it is said to leave the plate in the uv lamp for a little over a minute I left mine in last night for an hour and that's the first time i saw am impression on the plate which has now lead me to believe that it may be my uv lamp which is the problem. So my question is what sort of watt does the uv lamp need to be and how long should this process typically take. I purchased the basic kit from Cookson and the exact same uv lamp from ebay. The lamp is 15watt.

    Any help would really be appreciated.

    Thank you

    sofina

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    491

    Default

    Every UV box is different. I've seen instructions that advise to expose for 2minutes, 30 seconds, whereas I only have to expose for 32 seconds with mine.
    You can use up a lot of polymer plate experimenting

    If the transfer is flat (ie: You can see it and it hasn't washed away down the drain), it sounds like you have exposed it to the UV for too long.
    Conversely, if your lovely little hand or foot washes off your plate down the plug hole, you have exposed it for too long.

    Bearing in mind what you have said is happening, in your case I'd try it at 30 seconds - try to be REALLY precise. Always use a timer.

    Different thickness polymer plates will also behave differently and will need different times. Sometimes even 5 seconds can give a slightly better / worse impression.
    Timing is different for everyone, so unfortunately the only way to figure it out is to keep playing.

    Hope that helps. xx

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    22

    Default

    Hi Lucie,

    Thank you for replying. Can you tell me what I should be looking out for, at the moment I can't tell when it's a good time to take it out of the lamp because the polymer plate looks exactly the same. Is the image part of the plate supposed to be raised or is it just flat and only after washing does the image section become raised like a stamp?

    I have tried exposing the plate for 2 minutes however I see nothing at all. No image transfer. So I have been gradually increasing the time. I have attached an image the larger plate was exposed for an hour and the smaller heart plate for 1 hour 20 minutes. I'm yet to wash the small plate. After reading some tutorials it appears that the watt on my lamp may not be powerful enough it's only 15watts hence why I have been exposing the plate for that length of time.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 20150615_134946.jpg  

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Shropshire
    Posts
    56

    Default

    We use a 36w UV lamp for our stamps and are usually more around the 1 minute mark, although it really does vary according to the plates your using, the age of the UV bulbs, the room temperature the plates have been stored at, whether the moon is full etc etc...

    You wont see anything clearly (other than the faintest of images) until you begin to wash off the unexposed polymer to leave the raised stamp. The best thing to do is try a test strip - expose a strip of letters for slightly different times, and work out which timing gives you the best result with the plates and light that you have

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    440

    Default

    I've not done any myself, but found what looks like quite a good tutorial. You may already have seen it, but if not it has a section on making a test strip to determine exposure times and another section on troubleshooting - I wonder if those might help... http://www.silverclayart.com/ppplates-instr.htm

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Romsey
    Posts
    4,823

    Default

    Straight out of darkroom practice...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    491

    Default

    Looks like everyone else beat me to it Completely agree with Melanie - the best thing you can do is to create a test strip testing different times.
    Make sure you store the plate wrapped up & out of the light, or it will be ruined before you start.
    The folk over at http://www.metalclay.co.uk/ should be able to advise if you get really stuck. xx

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    22

    Default

    Thank you all for your advice. I have just invested in another uv lamp, once that arrives i will try the test strips. Hopefully the process of elimination should should help me along the way.

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