Tonight I had a really good session printing my first laser cut acrylic plate. I used Akua Intaglio Carbon Black ink on damp Rising Stonehenge ripped to 32″ x 36″. The acrylic plate worked much better than the FPVC plates I was using before, but I did have to take care with the baren because the cut edges are hard and sharp and could potentially tear the paper.
Crystal clear acrylic plate ready for ink.
As I began to ink the plate, I realized immediately how acrylic is a better plate material than FPVC. The acrylic is very smooth and this makes it easy to apply the ink and transfer it to the paper. The fact that the acrylic is clear is a huge plus. Once the plate is fully inked, I can hold it up to the light and inspect for pinholes. The first time I did this, it was clear that the plate was far from ready. It was such a time saver to apply the ink once before printing. With the FPVC plates, I often have to lift the corner of the print a number of times to reapply ink to cover pinholes.
Here’s the first print from the laser cut acrylic plate.
Here’s a view of the plate sitting on my large “press” which consists of a sheet of 4′ x 8′ melamine and a baren.
Inked plate with first print drying in the background.
The new print dries on a sheet of masonite.