Seraphina Martin: Solar Etching 23-24 April 2019


SOLAR PLATE ETCHING: is a quick, simple and safe alternative to traditional etching. Rather than acids, all that is needed is the UV rays of the sun to etch a plate. Your image is applied onto transparent film, then exposed to the sun for 2.30 min.  A built in photo sensitive emulsion hardens the image in the sun. The plate is then washed in water revealing your image ready for printing on the etching press. Emphasis will be on creating images using elements from the natural world. Existing illustrations from nature on clear film will be used with natural elements such as leaves, flowers, feathers, lace. Many applications of colour rolled onto the plate will result in a stunning portfolio of prints.

12 in stock (can be backordered)


Dates: 23rd and 24th April 2019

Price: $240 (early bird) $280 (late booking)

Create a stunning portfolio of vibrant colour etchings in this hands-on weekend workshop. Master printmaker Seraphina Martin will demonstrate and guide you through this practical technique. Solar plate etching is a quick, simple and safe non-toxic alternative to traditional etching. The UV rays of the sun will develop the image and water instead of acids will etch the image. Watch your images transform through stencils, collage and your own photographs into imaginative and unique colour prints. The etching press will be used to print your solar plates to reveal exciting variations.

Printing methods explored are:  A la poupee colour intaglio, Chine Collee with rice paper collage. Viscosity colour printing with stencil application and colour rolls.

Things to bring to Solar Plate Etching workshop

– Protective clothing, apron/dustcoat/old shirt and closed shoes.

– A small box of disposable rubber gloves from the supermarket.

– 1 full sheets 76 x 56 cm Printmaking paper  to produce 8  prints

such as Stonehenge or BFK Rives but NO Watercolour paper.

– Plate size available for the workshop: 2 plates A6 size 14 x10 cm

– Alternatively you can take your photos, drawings, to Officeworks and they will provide acetate transparencies and copy them for 80 cents a copy. Ask for BLACK  ONLY not colour. Images on the transparencies can be reduced on the photocopier to A6 size if necessary to fit the solar plates.

— An assortment of tools such as scribes, scissors, scalpel knife, pens, pencil, masking tape, and paint brushes can come in handy if you already have these. But not all necessary if you don’t have these.

– Important to bring a Folder ( A3 ) size with tissue paper to take home your finished prints. Your prints will be damp and need care.

Course outline






Introductory lecture on Solar plate etching. Understanding of how images are created onto film and acetate. Demonstration of exposure.

Develop ideas for solar plate by drawings onto a drafting film with pencil and ink.


Expose plate in the sun, followed by washing it in water to reveal your image. The plate will then need to be post exposed by baking it in the sun to seal the surface ready to print .



We will be devoting most of this day to printing your solar plates.

Printing methods explored:

. A la poupee colour intaglio.

. Chine Collee with rice paper collage.

. Viscosity colour printing with stencil application.

A stunning portfolio of 8 – 12  prints with these printing methods, would be produced during this  printing session.


MATERIAL COST $35 –  to be paid to the tutor on the first day.

Materials provided  includes:  2 Solar Plates  plates both

A6 in size ( 10x15cm). Quality printmaking paper for 4 prints, all coloured inks, solvents, tarlatan gauze, butchers paper, class notes.