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  • July 25, 2023 3 min read

    Photopolymer Print Making with Project X 999 or any Silver Metal Clay

    How to make a photopolymer stamp/texture

    This process is so easy anyone can do it. Take your drawings or free stock images like Celtic knots, symbols, clip art and more to make your own personalized stamps. Even font can be added to your image. I did all these images below with a simple word program 

     

    The main thing to think about is that when you take out a sheet of photopolymer paper (its a vinyl sheet about 1 to 2 mm thick) make sure there is no natural light around. The natural sunlight/UV light is what exposes the photopolymer paper. I supply sheets in a black out, black sleeve. The material can be easily cut with scissors or purchase the 2”x3” pre cut metal back pieces .

     

    Items you will need 

     

     Step 1

    Working on images to create stamps or textures. 

    You can work in any creative program you have. Using free black and white images or creating your own. 

    Here is a sample of one I did using original drawings

    dragon pendant designs

    I try to get enough to fill up a whole 81/2 x 11 sheet so as to not waste the special overhead projector clear paper.

     

    Everything in Black will be raised when you put metal clay onto the finished stamp. Wording will have to go backwards on the photopolymer paper. 

    No need to do your words backwards as you can flip the transparency

    dog tag stamp

    Step 2

    Preparing the image to make stamp.

    • select the drawing you want and cut it out from the over head projector sheet  

     

    Dragon triad pendant

    Step 3

    While in low light,  non UV light room,

    Take out the photopolymer vinyl and cut the size you will need 

    photopolymer paper vinyl back 

     

     The photopolymer vinyl will have a plastic cover on the side that we will be using, the activating side. Here you will put your cut out image on the activated side. If using words this is where you will flip the transparency so the words are backwards. Once you have it positioned correctly put them both onto the piece of wood provided. Next put the glass on top of the stack and used the binder clips provided to hold everything in place. This is important so that when under the UV light the black area will be protected (this will eventually wash away and become the raised part in your design). 

     

     photopolymer paper ready for UV light exposure

     

    Step 4

    Take your sandwiched design and put it under the light 

    UV light for stamp making

    Turn your light on for 30 seconds.

    UV light for stamp making, light is on

    Turn  it off and then take the clips and everything off. If you hold your photopolymer paper up to the light you will be able to see your image on it.  

    image burned into photopolymer vinyl back paper

    Step 5

    Wash out.

    Next you will get some warm water about 4 cups in a container. Make sure you will not be using this container in the future. Put your plate in the water and begin to rub your fingers over top of the design. You can use a tooth brush to brush your plate and get it as clean as you can.  Here I am using a tooth pick to get into smaller areas. 

    Washing out the photopolymer vinyl paper

     image clean out on photopolymer paper

    Issues-  

    A. The design is washing out. 

    • you may have unintentionally exposed your plate to UV light. Try it again.
    • You may have to use less time under the UV light.

     

    B. Too much of my design is washing away, the image is not sharp, breaking of image

    • Water may be too hot, or you are soaking it too long in the water
    • You may need to add more time to exposure under the UV light.

    After you have cleaned the plate to your satisfaction let it dry. Either air dry or you can blow dry for faster completion. Then you will put the plate back on the wood with glass on top and the binder clips. Put under the UV light for one minute. This will totally cure your stamp so that it is ready for metal clay.

    Use your stamp with metal clay as you normally would. Below is how it looks greenware    

    Metal clay in greenware stage before firing 

    After Firing

    Fired metal clay photopolymer stamp projects 

     With Patina

    Dragon pendant stamp project liver of sulfered

    I hope you enjoyed learning about making your own stamps. 

     

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