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Studio Camnitzer

founded in 1971

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Ecoresist-60

Studio upstairsUntil few years ago, most of the photoetching work produced at Studio Camnitzer was done employing aromatic photoresists (KPR, Rockyphot). Whe now use Ecoresist instead, which has all the qualities of the previous resists added to advantages of its own, not the least of which is a toxic level equivalent to artists' oil paints. In our work we identified the following characteristics:

  1. It comes in syrup form with an equal flow quality as KPR and Rockyphot.
  2. It can be brushed onto the plate minimizing waste (no flowing, spinning or heat chambers needed).
  3. It does not contain toluene, methyl-glycol-acetate or any other chemicals of high-toxicity.
  4. 
Solvents are on the toxicity level of mineral spirits and oil paint.
  5. Exposure can be done with any lamp emitting UV wavelength, including sun lamps.” No special exposing equipment is needed. No vacuum table is required as long the light is provided by a bulb and not by fluorescent tubes.
  6. No professional transparencies are required. Homemade graphic film, jet- ink printers and laser printers produce crisp plates.
  7. The developing is done with a non-toxic water based developer.
  8. The dye is combined with the photoresist (instead of being part of the developer or requiring a separate immersion).
  9. The development of the plate can therefore be controlled visually.
  10. The resistance to the acid is higher than that of its predecessors.
  11. Plates can be cleaned, re-sensitized, re-exposed and re-etched as often as needed.
  12. The price per coated square foot is equivalent or cheaper than that of other products.

During the 25 years we offered summer courses in Studio Camnitzer, one of our major aims was to develop photoetching techniques for low-tech environments. The Studio was organized so that any artist could replicate results in any studio with a minimum of equipment. As a consequence we avoided vacuum tables, graphic specialty lamps, heated spinning tables and spray booths. In this quest we experimented with a big variety of products.

We had started with Kodak’s KPR and found it unsatisfactory. The tolerance for exposure times was extremely narrow, it needed pre- and post-baking and, under our normal conditions, the resistance to basic solvents was very low, making retouching extremely difficult.

Studio from driveway across porch Pre-sensitized plates, whether solvent or water based, were of limited use since they only allowed for one exposure. Non-toxic films like Dupont’s Riston and its spin-offs (Zacryl and Imagon), are primarily effective for non-etch printing. For good results they demand complex handling and special lighting equipment. We found that if we didn’t use professional transparencies, a vacuum table and precise exposures, the etched plate would generally show a loss of 25% or more of the finer information.

Other products using a solvent-based photoresist with an aqueous developer require vacuum tables and a precise narrow light wavelength for exposure.

For many years we settled for a German product, Rockyphot, the chemistry of which is similar to KPR and therefore has the same toxicity. Rockyphot, at least, satisfied all of our artistic quality demands.

We have found that an Italian product, Ecoresist, is equal to Rockyphot in terms of artistic quality, but has a much lower level of toxicity, one equivalent to that expected of everyday art materials. The only difference we noted in performance was a slightly lower latitude of tolerance in exposure times and the need for a little more work to remove the exposed coat from the plate after the etch.

If you need a more detailed technical sheet and a summary of our own experience in using the product you can go to Ecoresist instructions.

Ecoresist is available from Reprochem S.P.A., 9, Ornago, MI 20060, Italy; tel. +39 039 6286501, e-mail: reprochem@acigraf.com

Please contact us using one of the following:

  • Contact form
  • E-mail: studiocamnitzer (ad) gmail.com
  • Letter Studio Camnitzer: 124 Susquehanna Ave. Great Neck, NY 11021