How to Use Rubylith for Exposure Onto a Silk Screen

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Once upon a time, Rubylith was fused into the silk screen mesh with acetone, a messy and highly toxic process. No more. Instead, you can use it to make a transparency.

Things You'll Need

  • Rubylith Or Amberlith
  • Tape
  • Sharpie Pens
  • No. 11 X-Acto Blades
  • X-Acto Knives
  • Decide what you want to use Rubylith for. Rubylith will prevent light from exposing photo emulsion - in other words, Rubylith blocks light.

  • Choose Rubylith for large flat areas, chunky line art, or flat color areas - depending on your skill with an X-Acto knife.

  • Place the art you want to transfer into a silk screen print on your work surface.

  • Place a sheet of Rubylith (or Amberlith) on top of the art with the acetate backing facing down.

  • Use the X-Acto knife to cut lightly into the red layer - not into the acetate.

  • Peel the red layer up wherever you want light to go through, leaving the red (or amber) wherever you want the light blocked.

  • Use the transparency to expose your photo-emulsion-coated silk screen.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you're worried about damaging your art, use a Sharpie pen to trace onto the Rubylith and then move the art before cutting.
  • Think of the Rubylith as a positive mark: anything that's "ruby" now will be "ink" once you start silk-screening.
  • Don't cut yourself.
  • If anything moves, you'll have to re-register it - so taping your art and the Rubylith to your work surface is not a bad idea.

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