03 April, 2015

Old School Printing Methods (Part 3)

You may be wondering why I haven't continued the tutorials on the Gel-Plate/Hectograph printing technique. The answer is pretty simple; it wasn't as easy as I'd been led to believe.

The gel-plate was done correctly, but the available forms of carbon paper now available simply aren't compatible with the process. I tried to get it working with three different types of carbon paper, but none of them transmitted enough ink to a glossy sheet of paper, which in turn meant that no ink could be transferred to the gel-plate, and thus no printing could occur.

Now, the hectograph printing process is limited to hectograph pens which are apparently used commonly in the tattoo trade, but I haven't managed to track down one of these pens so the whole project has come to a standstill.

There are methods to produce hectographic ink using chemical pigments, glycerine, alcohol, and water, but I haven't managed to successfully concoct any of these. The most common variant uses Methyl Violet as the colouring agent for the ink, but I haven't been able to find a decent source for this chemical. I might try using a dry block of chinese ink with the other chemicals to see how that works, but for the moment the whole project has gone on hold.  

I'll move forward with these tutorials once I get something to work.
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