Sunshine on a Plate

Highland Print Studio received funding from the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) to design a new schools outreach workshop that combined arts and science. The workshop, called ‘Sunshine on a Plate’ teaches pupils how to create artwork using a technique called polymer photogravure. This involves creating an image, either photographically or hand-drawn, that is then exposed onto a polymer plate using sunlight. The plates are then developed in water and printed using traditional etching methods.

During the workshop the pupils also learnt about the science behind the polymerization process that takes place as the plates develop. Highland Print Studio’s Studio Manager, John McNaught, worked with scientists from the medical company, LifeScan Scotland, to develop scientific demonstrations that helped to visualize and explain the polymerization reactions taking place as the plate is exposed to sunlight. Pupils from Portree High School were the first to take part in the workshop in March 2011.