Thursday, June 25, 2015

Polymer Art Printing

Texture plates is the theme for the PCAGOE July challenge. The idea is that each participating member would create a texture plate from polymer and then use the handmade texture plate to emboss raw polymer; then, create something with the textured clay impression. As I mulled over ideas for this project, I recalled the many mono prints that I created in a printmaking class that I took in college, and I thought it would be great to have a handmade printing plate to create a run of original polymer printed artwork! I would make wall art using the texture plate as my printing plate, but could make each one look unique by changing which media and colors I applied to the plate. 
Below is a photo of my first 3 polymer art prints with the original texture plate (solid blue at bottom)

My first efforts at my texture plate design were a total failure. I had the "brilliant" idea to combine paper strips with LPC which, in the end, turned into a big mess. I may revisit this idea again when I have more time to play.

 So, the next phase saw me making impressions in a slab of raw polymer using various tools and cured coiled quilled polymer (to create the spirals you see above). I wanted some areas that would create deeper impressions, so I made sure to add a band of small raised circles on top of the plate. My final result of the textured plate is seen below:

Once the texture plate was fully cured. I conditioned a large amount of white Premo polymer. I then set to work on creating a "print". I painted on the plate with various mica powder colors, in reds, oranges, yellow/golds and blue (I'm still in a blue/orange mood, as I was last month). I mounted the texture plate face down on the raw white polymer and gave every area lots of pressure, making sure to flip it over and press on both sides, to get a good impression. The result was this lovely print (my favorite of the 3):

After it was released from the texture plate, I did add a few spritzes of red/orange ink, which I smudged with a paper towel all over the surface, I did this to make the orange coloring more prominent and darker. After curing, this was mounted to a black frame.

For the second print, I decided to use blue Kato liquid polymer to paint the entire texture plate. I impressed into the clay as before and released the plate from the print. I fully cured the print, then I added some areas of orange Kato liquid polymer to accent the blue printed areas, and I fully cured that layer. The final result is this polymer print, also mounted to a black frame:

For the third print, I wanted to use alcohol inks, but before wasting ink tried first with just plain rubbing alcohol. This didn't work as well, the raw polymer was sticking in the fine spaces of the texture plate and did not release as easily as the other 2 methods. So, I decided to paint the entire texture plate with a white mica, to allow for easy release of the print. After the all-white polymer print was released from the texture plate, I then added alcohol inks to the embossed raw clay. (So, this one really isn't a print... I'd call it a painting because the colors were added after the texture was embossed. The previous two pieces, however, are true prints, as the color was added to the plate and transferred onto the raw polymer.) To paint this last one, I first painted everything with varying shades of blue alcohol ink, then I used some spritzers of white and orange to add interest. This one too is mounted on a black frame:

I was having so much fun with this, and wanted to try some other alcohol ink painting ideas, I just didn't want to stop creating... so I made the pendants for this necklace and earring set:

I was really pleased with the effects I achieved! This will be a tough necklace for me to part with, because I love it so much... but I think it might end up in the createmyworld etsy shop because it has matching earrings (I rarely ever wear earrings). Here are a few more shots of the jewelry:

Oh, and here's the backside of the jewelry:

I really had so much fun making this project, and I see my self exploring this idea further by creating more texture plates!

I am really so pleased with how these turned out! And when my hubby saw the prints, he said "Those are the coolest things you've ever made! Wanna hang them up in the living room?" That is a HUGE compliment! ;) I was going to put them in my createmyworld etsy shop, but I do believe the hubby will claim them for our house. I hope to make more to put on etsy.

Voting for this challenge will open on July 1st and will close at midnight on the 7th. I'll try to remember to post a reminder about the voting... I've not been good about that in the past couple months, but I do hope to be more organized this month!