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  • HUB @ 302

    Location: CALGARY, AB

    The Alberta Society of Artists invites all juried members, associate and non-members to..
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  • Open Call for 2020 exhibitions

    Location: Vernon, BC

    We are an artist run gallery seeking submissions from emerging artists for our..
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  • Beacon Original Art Fall Show & Sale

    Location: Calgary, AB

    Saturday October 19, 2019 from 10am - 4pm. Featuring more than 30 artists..
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  • Open Call:

    Location: Vancouver, BC

    The Federation of Canadian Artists (FCA) is having an open exhibition for members..
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  • Open Call: All 10

    Location: Vancouver, BC

    Calling all Canadian Artists! This is an open submission call for a lightly..
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  • Earth

    Location: CALGARY, AB

    The Alberta Society of Artists invites all Juried, Life, Student, Associate Members and..
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  • Reza Rezaï / Mehmoon

    Location: Calgary, AB

    TRUCK Contemporary Art is pleased to present Mehmoon by Reza Rezaï. Through the..
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  • Outside, In

    Location: Lethbridge, AB

    Opening reception September 28th 7-9pm for the Allied Art Council's Gallery Stroll! OUTSIDE,..
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  • National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society 2019 Fall Online International Exhibition

    Location: Windsor, ON

    The National Oil & Acrylic Painters’ Society (NOAPS) invites oil and acrylic painters..
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  • “Motion” International Call - Art & Literature Journal - Deadline October 31, 2019

    Location: Toronto, ON

    | Theme: Moving or being moved. Shifting, stirring, changing places. The rise and..
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  • Beaver Sheppard: Solo Exhibition

    Location: Montreal, QC

    Archive Contemporary presents a comprehensive solo exhibition of Beaver Sheppard’s artistic canon, for..
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  • ANCESTRAL MINDSCAPES

    Location: Toronto, ON

    Ancestral Mindscapes is an autobiographical collaboration using video, sound and photography to explore..
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  • Clay Tile Workshop

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    Participants will be working with clay to hand-build tiles using a variety of..
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  • Edible and Medicinal Gardening Lecture

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    Ukrainian settlers brought with them a wide range of traditional knowledge and practices,..
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  • Acrylic Painting for Beginners

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    Do you want to create a bright & beautiful acrylic landscape in one..
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  • Willow Heart Weaving Workshop

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    Willow Heart Weaving Workshop In this workshop, participants will learn how to trim and..
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  • New Craft Coalition: Call to Artists

    Location: Calgary, AB

    New Craft Coalition, invites applications from all mid-career and professional artists to be..
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  • Invisible by PAINTER8

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    Please join us at PAINTER8, and other Edmonton art lovers alike, for the..
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  • 19th Annual Stouffville Studio Tour

    Location: Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville, ON

    The 19th Annual Stouffville Studio Tour is an event you don’t want to..
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  • Wheat Centrepiece Workshop

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    Join this class to learn how to make a didukh-style centrepiece that can..
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  • Radio Silence

    Location: Quebec city, QC

    Québec, August 19, 2019 – Folie/Culture invites all those who express themselves through..
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  • LOOK AGAIN!

    Location: Saskatoon, SK

    LOOK AGAIN! PAINTINGS BY KATHLEEN SLAVIN AND GAIL PRPICK AT UNIVERSITY..
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  • Watercolour Workshop with Frank Townsley

    Location: Vancouver, BC

    Sunday 22nd September 10.00 AM - 5.00 PM ..
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  • Figureworks 2019

    Location: Ottawa, ON

    Figureworks 2019 Call for Artists The call for submissions to the 10th annual juried..
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  • Quasi-Nature

    Location: Montreal, QC

    Archive Contemporary Art Gallery is pleased to present Quasi-Nature, a group exhibition curated..
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  • National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society 2019 Fall Online International Exhibition

    Location: Windsor, ON

    The National Oil & Acrylic Painters’ Society (NOAPS) invites oil and acrylic painters..
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  • Unsettling Nature

    Location: Toronto, ON

    An Exhibition at: The Garage Gallery Benmiller with Artists Jill Price, Leslie Putnam, Morag Webster..
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  • Through the Eyes of a Child

    Location: CALGARY, AB

    Artists Statement: Ed Flanagan My wife had a career as an elementary school..
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  • Exposition solo Lac-Mégantic

    Location: Lac-Mégantic, QC

    L'eau, une mine d'Art du 8 juillet au 8 septembre 2019..
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  • Sustainable Fashion Designer Looking for Studio Space in Mississauga

    Location: Mississauga, ON

    Hi, I'm Amanda, I am an emerging fashion designer starting my business designing..
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  • 32 Points- 32 Voices: A Compass of Peace

    Location: Toronto, ON

    32 Points - 32 Voices: A Compass of Peace International Exhibition September 6-27, 2019 Cedar Ridge..
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Printmaking Series - Part 20 of 21 - Recycling Aluminium Plates

By Nik Semenoff October 18, 2004

} Recycling Aluminium Plates Printmaking Series - Part 20 of 21 By Nik Semenoff For most art lithographic printers, the use of a plate was a one-shot deal. Regraining the surface for traditional lithography so it would hold a film of water was not practical for them. The cost of plates became a major factor in the price of an edition. For students it was a budget breaking experience when plates broke down from faulty processing. As an instructor I saw students become frustrated with printmaking when they lost their expensive plates and could not afford more. I started research into a number of avenues that looked promising. In the end I came upon a solution that is extremely simple and first overlooked. Unlike traditional plates that require a texture, waterless plates work best if they are fairly smooth. The backs of the traditional plates is usually dirty with ink and oxides that aluminium quickly accumulates. After using the front of the plate for projects on traditional lithography, the plate is kept for recycling and waterless printing. One can use the grained side for waterless as well if that is the only process being practiced in the studio. The first step is to remove all the dried ink on the back - this has to be done unfortunately with hydrocarbons. There are some commercial cleaners containing citrus d' limonene in an miscible solution, which are safer and should remove the dirt. There will still be a layer of aluminium oxide that is best removed. This is done with a scrub pad made from scrap carpet glued to scrap lumber and a weak solution of sodium metasilicate. This chemical has replaced the environmentally harmful TSP and available in paint stores. Along with a 3M green scrub pad held by the carpet - and the metasilicate, the surface is scrubbed until water flows evenly over the surface. This procedure produces a thin layer of aluminium silicate that servers two purposes. The silicone to be applied to the surface will bond better to this layer and make a better plate. Later, when one recycles the plate again, this layer is attacked by the bifluoride much easier. The drawing and processing of the plate for printing is done as usual. After the edition, the ink should be removed with a strong detergent and put aside for later use. The first move in this step of recycling is to remove the silicone. The only sure way to get if off the surface is to break it down with a weak solution of hydrofluoric acid. This acid is extremely dangerous when used in pure form but is available from glass workers as paste. Under a number of manufacturer labels, sodium bifluoride is mixed with other materials into a paste to spread on glass and produce frosted designs. A very small amount of this is added to water in a plastic container. Some phosphoric acid is added to increase activity. Using rubber gloves and a pad from scrap carpet, the solution is spread over the surface until it attacks the silicone. For those concerned about the amount of HF in the solution, tests to a properly prepared mixture shows it is around .35% HF. Considering that glass workers are using the more potent paste without harm, printers should be able to be as careful. For the final preparation of the surface, use the same 3M pad and sodium metasilicate as before. This will abrade any loose silicone still sticking to the plate and add a new layer of aluminium silicate. The plate can be recycled many times over until bent or damaged in other ways to make printing difficult. This technique allows students to print to their hearts content and improve their skills. Practicing printmakers no longer have to worry about plate costs in making their editions. ________________________________________________ Copyright © 2004 Nik Semenoff Nik Semenoff Artist-in-residence University of Saskatchewan Visit Nik Semenoff's website at duke.usask.ca/~semenoff/ for more information.