Using Photopolymers

I have been using both Imagon-HD photopolymer film, and photopolymer plates. The latter has been the easier to use and more reliable, but the former more fun.  Both need exposing to UV light (I only have a black-light UV tube) through a line-art transparency, although in fact for the film I use images printed onto tracing paper. This is partly because the swanky do-it-all office photocopiers will no longer accept any old material to print on without your losing your insurance and maintenance contracts (and job probably). But my ancient printer works perfectly on tracing paper with no loss of quality in the exposed result.
P1000527 P1000507 P1000499 P1000475 P1000469 The three images on the left all use Imagon-HD film, which is a pre-sensitised gelatine product, glued onto metal stock with water and subsequently dried. The first is nickel silver subsequently etched in dilute nitric acid with text (and showing a very clear reflection of my camera!); the second shows nickel silver on top etched with a Greek key design, the bottom is a piece of copper still bearing the exposed and developed film; the third is a longer strip of nickel silver with exposed and developed film (but not yet etched). The Fourth shows a piece of hammered brass on top, and a sintered fine silver pendent made from a photopolymer plate mold. This plate material, again a presensitised gelatine product (with an offensive and possibly somewhat toxic smell), after exposure to UV light hardens in such a way that it does not wash out in warm water. The parts not so exposed do however wash out. The result is a 3-D mold or stamp, which I used to form the sintered silver paste. After drying, this was fired in the usual way for such materials, then enamelled with aqua enamel at about 850°C. The fifth picture shows the same fine silver pendent before enamelling, along with two examples of etching done by students in my jewellery class using resist paint on nickel silver; and some sintered silver fired pieces formed from commercial molds.

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