For those of you who were unable to attend the printing workshop hosted by Anastasia Mina and Ben Zawalich both students from the Royal College on Thursday 6th February 2014. There was an introduction to a newish kid on the block which has been in existence since the 1990’s, the name is Polyester Plate Lithograph and it was developed by George F Roberts during his professorship of printmaking at Boise State University, Idaho. It appears that the kid is not widely known to many, why? could it be because enthusiastic printmakers are not aware of the material or its capabilities or could it be that production is limited?, but the good news is muscles are not needed to use this material and although the longevity of the material itself is limited, it is non toxic, and with the instructions in situ it can be a quick, easy and rewarding process to use as was encountered in the workshop demo of lithographic printing.
The traditional lithographic process was first introduced by Alois Senefelder in 1798, born in Prague, 6 Nov 1771, died in Munich 26 February 1834, was a German inventor and printer. He was an actor and writer who wanted to publish the plays he wrote. He experimented with intaglio and relief processes using limestone as a surface to print the pages. It involved the use of not only heavy lithograph stones but lithographic solvent-based Tusche which contained tar and Naptha toxins. The results worked on the basis that oil and water will not mix; greasy printing ink was applied to the stone.
Approximately 200 years on this material is a very good equivalent to the traditional lithograph stone by eliminating the use of toxic chemicals which is not only good for print makers but a bonus for the environment.