Preparing to Transfer the Image
Wait at least four hours for the aluminum plates to dry completely before you begin preparing to print on them. For this process to work, the image you create needs to be printed on Digital Art Studio Seminar (DASS™) transfer film, with a printer that uses pigment inks (see Figure 11).
Figure 11 DASS transfer film can be fed into the printer in the same manner as paper.
To prep the plates for printing, follow these steps:
- Pair each dry plate with an image.
- If you like, sand and polish part of the stain off the plate, which will allow the main part of the image to show clearly (see Figure 12). Use a steel wool pad to leave a mirrored finish that will appear as a light midtone in the final image.
- Another option to create uniqueness is to remove part of the ink on the film itself with a damp paper towel or brush. This approach creates a soft edge that you can match up with the cutouts on the metal plates. For the example in Figure 13, a photo I took of a cow in a snowstorm, I cleaned the center oval of the plate with 200-grit sandpaper, and then I wiped the outer oval around the cow off the film. The final version has the digital image in the center of the plate, surrounded by only the aged metal.
Figure 12 Creating a polished oval on a plate.
Figure 13 Finished "tintype" of the cow.