Photopolymer Books

‘Printmaking with Photopolymer Plates’ by Dianne Longley – Unfortunately this book is SOLD OUT

Dianne is working on a totally new book which will be available in late 2021 or 2022.

‘Printmaking with Photopolymer Plates II’ (working title) is currently taking shape. It will give clear step by step guidance for a diverse range of photopolymer processes (many not included in the 1998 book) and will also have a section comprised of prints made by artists in collaboration with Dianne at Agave Print Studio.

If you are interested in being advised when the book is available, please provide your details here:

    About the 1998 book:

    ‘Printmaking with Photopolymer Plates’ by Dianne Longley revealed the unique possibilities offered by a new printmaking medium and was designed to be used by artists, art students and art teachers. Photopolymer printmaking is printing from photosensitive plates that have been exposed to UV light and developed using tap water, no chemicals are required. The process is clean, easy and safe.

    The book described photopolymer plates and their uses, detailed the process illustrating each step and also listed support information such as materials and suppliers (mainly Australian).

    The book illustrated a diverse range of applications for photopolymer printmaking and the captions supplied information about how the images were produced.

    ‘Printmaking with Photopolymer Plates’ was reprinted in 1998, 2003 and 2010 with only minor changes including the updating of suppliers where necessary. 5000 copies were sold in Australia and overseas.

    A new book on photopolymer printmaking is currently in progress.

    Reviews of the book ‘Printmaking with Photopolymer Plates’ – Dianne Longley – 1998


    Printmaking Today – Contemporary Graphic Art Worldwide
    Winter 1998 Volume 7 Number 4
    Printmaking with Photopolymer Plates by Dianne Longley

    Photopolymer plates – the future?

    With the massive growth in the packaging industry over the last 20 years there has been a commensurate expansion in the Flexographic process used originally for carton printing. This is primarily the use of a flexible plastic photopolymeric plate, that can be washed after exposure to produce a relief photographic printing plate.

    Until the last few years this process and its growth have been largely ignored by artists. Fine press printers were the first to realize its potential, using metal-backed plates as a replacement for hand-set type. More recently, the plastic-backed variety of plate has been used for intaglio, both in the USA and more extensively in Scandinavia. Despite the rapid spread around the world, few have yet explored the full potential of this fascinating medium.

    This book is the first practical hand-book for artists that deals with both aspects of relief and intaglio use for Flexography plates. It is a simple straightforward account of the different types of plate and their uses, from preparing drawings, through exposure, to the characteristics of the various plate forms and the best methods of washing them out and printing.

    Well laid out with good photographic illustrations, this book is recommended for any beginner to this form of printing. Perseverance may be necessary to obtain the plates in small quantities in Europe. Having spent the last 12 months evaluating all forms of these plates for artists’ use, I am sure that Flexographic plates have a bright future in printmaking.

    Steve Hoskins

    Illumination Press
    112 pp b&w illustrations, 13 colour ISBN 0 646 27392 2 199


    Imprint – Quarterly Journal of the Print Council of Australia Inc.
    Winter 1998 Volume 33 Number 2

    Printmaking with Photopolymer Plates by Dianne Longley
    Illumination Press 1998

    As like a number of young printmakers in the late 1970s I explored print traditions, played with new technologies and became heavily involved in the bravado of the medium, but health and safety concerns were far from our minds. Many evenings we left the studio, worn out and tired from a long day of technique and process often only vaguely commenting on fumes and chemicals and their effect on us. We thought a run or a long walk would clear the air and improve our health.

    One evening I left the studio to prepare dinner for some friends and while gazing at cheese in the supermarket heard one of the staff ask “What is that horrible smell?”. I realised it was me as I carried toxic fumes of my day around with me. Over the 1980s the artists who taught us seemed to suffer a range of acute health problems and we began to wonder about the effects of the chemicals and other substances on us. Many abandoned printmaking for safety and creativity.

    It was therefore with interest that I picked up Dianne Longley’s Printmaking with Photopolymer Plates. Its subtitle A new, safe, versatile printmaking technique for artists and students caught my eye immediately. In this publication Longley has used her skills as printmaker, her environmental concerns and wide teaching experience to produce a book on a printmaking process that can be used safely and creatively.

    Photopolymer printmaking involves the use of photosensitive plates that are exposed to sunlight and developed using water. The process is clean, easy and safe to use. It also look fun and gives many opportunities for individual practitioners to explore their ideas. Longley’s book covers the traditions of printmaking, examines this process in great detail and contains comprehensive notes on technique. The technical specifications of processing, a glossary, bibliography and suppliers are all included, as is a useful index. The health and safety section highlights Longley’s interest in keeping the environmental concerns an important part of the focus.

    The book has a key element of drawing upon the experience and work of practising artists working in a community framework and this enables the process to come to life. It also enhances printmaking’s continued relevance and role within art making. In a new safer environment the traditions, techniques and approaches of printmaking are well placed to make use of digital technologies. This provides artist of all ages with the potential to represent a wide range of images and ideas. Not only does the photopolymer plate process seem to offer this in a safe environment, but books like Longley’s form an important part in educating us to its uses.

    Colin Simpson

    Visual arts writer and teacher living in Melbourne. Art critic for the Bulletin and co-author of the Art Now series published by McGraw-Hill Book company.


    Artlink – Australian Contemporary Art Quarterly
    Volume 17 Number 3

    Printmaking with Photopolymer Plates by Dianne Longley
    Illumination Press 1998

    Does the world need a new method of printmaking? The answer is a resounding yes from artists in the cities and Aboriginal artists in remote areas, from school students and printmakers of every hue and disposition. Photopolymer or solarplate printmaking is much more environmentally and personally friendly than most traditional means of printmaking. Photopolymer plates were used in industry for environmental reasons long before artists began to use them for handmade works. Di Longley new book Printmaking with Photopolymer plates is an excellent manual based on her extensive experience with the process. It covers the process in great detail and is clear and well-illustrated. The fascinating potential of this new medium lies within the fact that photographic media can be as easily transferred to the plates as hand drawn marks.

    Stephanie Radok
    Artist, curator, art writer and critic in Adelaide.

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