This Wednesday went a lot better using  Toray plates, a silicon coated photosensitive piece of tin. The image has to be on acetate or tracing paper which is then exposed using a lightbox. A protective film is then removed and the plate developed and a purple dye wiped on to show the image clearly. You can feel the slight difference between the developed and undeveloped areas. After a quick rinse and dry the plates are ready to print, using Toray inks which are stiffer and more rubbery feeling than traditional Lithography inks.
The possible pitfalls in this technique are that inkjet prints are probably not going to be lightfast enough, so laser or photocopies again. Then a test strip is necessary to work out the optimum exposure for the image on the lightbox. The developer has to be applied gently with a lint free pad as it is very easy to remove the silicon surface and whatever marks you make will print.
On a positive side, the plates are very thin and can be easily embossed with textures, so plenty of scope for experimentation, combining photographic images with drawings and textures.
I've posted some of the images from last week. None were as I'd hoped, but they were attempts to see if I could reproduce watercolour effects. Obviously needs a lot of work and trial and error yet.

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