An number of years ago I took a “Direct to Plate” course with Don Messec that was based on using ImagOn film and as a result having been using that process ever since.
I currently have an Epson Pro 4000 printer and only use the matte black channel in the printer using your ConeColor Pro K2 ink. I keep PiezioFlush in the other channels. Given the limit amount of time I use this “dated” printer, I find the matte black channel gets clogged easily and I am using considerable time (and frustration) keeping it functioning properly. I was hoping you might have a recommendation as to a more up-to-date printer that would be easier to maintain and could be set up to use just matte black when printing my plates. (I have considered switching to Solar Plates but they are three to four times more expensive than making plates with ImagOn.) Thanks in advance for any suggestions/recommendations you might have.
Thanks for your suggestion. I not sure you fully understand my needs: 1. I must use ImagOn as that is what gets etched. 2. I must use matte black ink since the plate with ImagOn gets exposed to ultra-violet light and there can not be a “reflective” quality to the ink. So the question still hanging for me is will the 800 allow me to use just matte black when printing, like the 4000 will?
Yes, the P800 will allow for black ink only. I am very familiar with photogravure as we do this commercially at our sister company Cone Editions Press (where fine art monochrome inkjet was invented). Our UltraHD MK ink (100% carbon) is specifically designed for gravure non-reflective opacity (on inkjet transparency yes, but also directly onto a polymer plate).
IMO, direct to plate with this printer (using the Jet plates we sell) is far superior than ImageOn at this point and is the recommended method promoted by Don as well as us. But either will work,.
The p800 (epson driver) requires Double weight Matte media type, and Epson RGB controls turned on in order to select black only mode. We teach a more extensive method at our workshops although these just filled for the summer sadly.
Thanks so much for the detailed explanation. I am familiar with Jet/Solar plates (very expensive compared to using ImagOn.) I am aware Don has switched over but glad to see he is sponsoring a workshop this summer using ImagOn. It is still a wonderful medium and one is able to get wonderful results, particularly if you are not trying for the “photogravure” finish. I have watched the videos and very much enjoyed them and, yes, the final images were great. Again your guidance is most appreciated.