Book Published in Bulgaria

Paul Constable, a good artist friend of mine, hadOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA been to a CARFAC conference and met a lady from Bulgaria who was surprised that Paul knew me and was very impressed. She gave him a 180 page book that was published as her thesis in lithography, which turned out to be on my waterless process that she obviously had found on the Internet. What astonished me, was the high quality of the printing, which shows she and other printmakers have perfected the process from the information on my blogsite and the University of Saskatchewan website at: As the book was published in 2007, it was before my website was put on a new server, which has lost some of my images that were uploaded when I started the site in around 1996. A few of them are not on my computer because of hardware changes; I am also having problems to put these few images back on the pages; but while I have done so in the HTML program, I have not been able to get them up on the server.

Since I have made my waterless litho method available since 1992, I have not seen anyone publish any improvements or new ideas in using it. I was very curious with this double page spread using reverse images, which I have done differently.


On closer looking at the image and the tools included, I realized one of the printers had discovered a method that closely resembles mezzotint in intaglio. With a waterbased black paint, the plate was covered and then removed with different tools and points to expose the metal underneath. Silicone would be applied and buffed down as usual, then the paint washed off probably with a bit of soap and water, making the plate ready for printing.

Bulgaria 1

I scanned the page of the 1/2 tone image, having to increase the contrast more than I wanted. I can see that very fine sharp points were used to some areas.

Bulgaria 3

You can see the point scratching and probably some deletions with the paint or ink. I would try a test using Chinese ink with one of the acrylic floor polishes that have been used by etchers as a ground. With acrylic, ammonia would help in removing the background so that printing ink would stick. Plain waterbased paint will work.

Bulgaria 2

   This image uses the technique to great affect and might be easier to produce the print than by using mezzotint and scrapers.  Waterless lithography is much simpler to produce images and print; one can use a bottle as long as the rim or bottom are smooth and even. There is no need for a press and students don’t have to give up printmaking after graduation.

For smaller images, a brayer is all that is needed and I have found that if I mix a waterbased relief ink with the Van Son Rubberbased ink, just plain soap and water will cleanup the slab and roller, as well as the plate for storage. This ink dries water proof in day or so, making it just as permanent as oil based ink on its own.








OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhat I really appreciate is that the author gave credit for my development, giving a short biography it seems from the text I really can’t read. The picture of me is with a print that used my linear offset technology to get better flats and detail that comes with offset printing. The blanket doesn’t show any ink residue for some reason, but it might have been a light tint I applied so that interference pigments could be brushed over the area through a mast cut exactly to the edge of the image, made visible with application of a dry pigment.



This is one of several images of mine used in the book, which shows readers what can be done with color editions using waterless. Because there is no water involved, the paper is not stretched while passing through the press under pressure. Using linear offset, the pressure is even much less than for direct printing as there would be dot gain as the rubber is squashed from too much pressure. One gets perfect color registration when using tabs and holes punched in the plates, a technique taken from the commercial color printing done daily in traditional lithography plants.










I wish I could read the text but the Cyrillic alphabet makes it harder to guess at the word, even if it was similar in sound to English. As a child, I spoke Russian because both of my parents came from Russia, but because of my older siblings, I spoke English when I started grade one in a one room county school house. Since my mother died in 1986, I have had no reason to speak or listen to the language; so I can’t understand any Russian spoken on RU.TV channel, which I watch because they have more interesting international news.


The author even included pictures of my 3-part roller I used to manufacture for better rolling up of plates – even traditional litho.  They also included instructions on how to make  toner chalks, using diluted shellac and a simple cardboard container to make square chalks that act like charcoal. These can be used on grained plates or newsprint for transferring to either grained or smooth back of recycled plates.

While on university faculty, it was a rule that any publication or even talks to groups, one always was to give credit for work done by others that influence ones own innovations. This is a strict rule at most universities as they condemned plagiarism in any form. I have found this not so on the Internet on blogsite or YouTube videos. 

My work in developing a safe mordant for etching metals has been co-opted by a few printmakers who seem to be taking credit for using copper compounds for etching metals and reducing toxic materials put down the drain. On the other hand, there have been books published of artists work who use my processes and give me credit for the safer and easier methods. This book makes my efforts worthwhile and I truly appreciate the author for the effort.

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