The Aquatint Screen
This Aquatint Screen effectively simulates the random dot of a fine aquatint. To work with continuous tone drawings onto mylar or vellum and photopolymer printmaking films like ImagOn, you need an Aquatint Screen to provide the necessary dot pattern. Typically the ImagOn plate is first exposed to the Aquatint Screen to provide an overall rich black 'aquatint-like' base, in preparation for a second exposure to the drawing or other continuous tone positive. After these two exposures the photo-polymer plate is developed, dried, and printed with traditional inks in the intaglio manner.
Each Aquatint Screen has an opaque dot structure, and is produced by an imagesetter onto traditional silver-based graphic arts film with a thick 7 mil film base for years of durability.
Details of the Aquatint Screen
This Aquatint Screen’s distinctive dot pattern is derived from the original nonglare Asahi glass, produced in Japan until the devastating Kobe earthquake in 1995. Due to domestic restrictions on the use of hydrofluoric acid in Japan, nonglare glass was made using unique patterns that were rolled into the hot plate glass during manufacture to impart the nonglare texture. Coincidentally, this pattern was ideal for producing dot patterns in the darkroom perfectly suited to photo–intaglio work. After the Kobe earthquake, the Asahi glass factory was relocated to Indonesia and this manufacturing process was eliminated.
My screens arevailable in sizes from 10”x12” (25 cm x 30 cm) to 35”x42”(91.5cm x 107cm) from these online retailers: