Student's Work
Solar Plates
Free Project Downloads

The Double Exposure Technique
During my presentation at the PMC conference in 2006, I showed for the first time the double exposure method I use to get texture in the lower areas of some of my Basse Taille enamels.

The top image on the left shows the piece as it was designed.

The image underneath it is the mask. The size of the outline is the same as the one above, making it easier to line it up on top of the initial wash-out. Make sure the mask is very solid black, if it is not, double it up!

Then there is the finished plate, washed out to two levels.

And the resulting PMC piece, shown here with a liver of sulphur patina.
(This piece has since been enamelled)

If you don’t want to use a box around the design, use what is known as ‘ registration marks’
They will help with lining up the mask on top of the plate.
Make sure your registration marks fall outside your design area.

The basic procedure is simple:

1. Expose the image as you'd normally do.

2. Wash out the whole plate to the depth of the shallow area, I check for depth with my fingernail.

3. Dry the plate with a sponge, no paper towels or cloth, to avoid fibres being trapped in the sticky polymer.

4. Place the mask over the areas you want deeper, making sure to have the mask precisely in place. This is where the registration marks come in handy, look through the ones in the mask to see the half washed out ones in the plate. Put the whole lot back into the exposure frame, very carefully so as not to move the artwork, then clamp using the bulldog clips.

5. Expose the plate again for the same time as before with the mask on, this will post expose the texture area only, hardening that whole area.

6. Remove the mask and wash out all the deep areas, the shallow areas are now hard and will not wash out further, while you can take the deeper lines all the way down to the base layer.

7. Dry as you normally would, then post expose the whole plate for the same time again.

How to turn a photo into a drawing in Photoshop