Monotype Printing using an Etching Press
Plates (plexiglas) are used with flat plant material and paper (dry or dampened) and printed using an etching press. The plate may be inked with a brayer and/or the plant inked, which gives the printer endless possibilities. Nature printing with the etching press yields excellent detail and the opportunity of getting multiple “ghost” prints; a second print off the plate and occasionally a third, usually lighter since most of the ink is transferred to the paper during the first print. Dry paper offers a sharp image, intensity of color and easier registration as the paper will not shrink or expand. Dampened paper also prints well and will add the impression of the piece into the paper.
Gel Plate Printing
Using a gel plate is one of the easiest and fun ways to begin nature printing. Create monotype prints (one of a kind-never any two alike) with this simple and versatile process that is very spontaneous and quite addictive.
Insects, feathers and delicate objects may be used. Relatively flat, dry material will be “shrink wrapped” in aluminum foil to make a printing plate, revealing a wealth of minute detail. These plates are inked and printed while leaving the material relatively unharmed and may be recovered after printing. With this method it is easy to change color, composition and print a multitude of times.