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Hybrid photobased Prints

• Embossing over pigment – here a blind embossing or relief print is impressed on top of and existing image in this case a pigment print - but it could be impressed into any existing print. For the embossed image it helps to work with a high contrast image - much of any subtle tonal detail tends to drop out. You might need to do some work in photohop to define the lines of the subject so they read clearly.


First a pigment print is made onto the paper. As the paper needs to be soaked for sometime and under goes significant pressure under the rollers of the press - It pays to use a high quality heavy weight print making paper.

A negative is printed on to a transparent base - Agfa copy jet - image setter neg or other transparent medium -

As this is used as a contact negative when the plate is exposed, it needs to be at the scale of the intended image.

The plate is exposed to UV for a predetermined period of time and the unexposed areas of the plate washed out. The resulting surface of the etched relief plate has one surface well above the other which allows it to leave an impression on the paper via a printing press.

The pigment print is soaked in water for 10 - 15 mins - the water is drained off when the print is pulled from the water and the print is blotted until damp but not wet.

The print is then placed on a printing press with the plate on top - make sure you use a felt blanket on top of the paper and plate.

The impression should not require huge amount of pressure - and only one pass through the press - its easy to pour on the pressure and run through the press several times. If the pressure is right, the plate should separate from the paper easily and leave a good impression -

if the paper is sticking to the plate the pressure is too much - however you can release the plate by soaking it in warm water.

You will find the plate has absorbed some water and become a little sticky - also make sure you dry the plate and harden it again in the sun before you try the next print.


While the relief print can be imprinted from either side of the paper - but it is more graphically defined if it is imprinted into the pigment side of the print rather than the back. This needs careful consideration as to whether the image on the plate is a positive or negative.

print on paper of the image for embossing- use this to check how the image will fit into the other visual elements of the work

Agfa Copy jet film - digital print of the image to scale

Photo polymer plate made from the negative


Notice how the image has been reversed in the plate

Detail of relief showing the depth - the lower area will show as raise on the final work
This tiled image consists of 9 pigment prints with charcoal drawings and 2 embossings
Detail of sheet with embossing
Detail of sheet with embossing



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