solar plate etchings

5 x 7


A solarplate is a light sensitive, steel-backed plate used to print images reproduced on a transparency sheet (thin, clear plastic). When you expose a solarplate in contact with a transparent image, the emulsion hardens in places where it receives light (the lighter parts of the image). When placed in water the softer parts wash away, creating crevices that can hold ink. In order to achieve tonal range in my prints, I had to expose the plates to an aquatint screen first. An aquatint screen is a clear screen covered in tiny dots of black ink (think spray paint). Working with this double exposure method hardens the plate before exposure to my photographs. This means that when the plates are developed, areas blocked from exposure by the image still have enough photopolymer to hold ink.

These images are all from my time working on a chicken farm/garden on a small island off the coast of Washington called Lummi. The landscape and the farm itself were both beautifully intricate, and I felt this method of printing my images captured the quality of light there best.