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I took lots of great art courses as a fine art and education major in college including printmaking. Second, to my jewelry classes, printmaking was my next favorite class. I really enjoyed learning all the intricacies of etching printing plates for producing fine art prints — altering metal of all sorts fascinated me. It wasn’t until I started working with Metal Clay that I would come back to these techniques to make impressions, on Metal Clay instead of paper. Rediscovering this age old art in a new way enabled me to create one-of-a kind textures and images in my jewelry. After experimenting on my own, I discovered you can more than one effect with the plates, so I’ve used these techniques in several of my jewelry courses for crisp images (all photos except the purse), modeled textures (purse photo), and halftones to convert photo realistic images of people or animals onto the clay. Best of all it only takes 15 minutes.


•    A UV light source
•    Black and white artwork printed from a printer onto clear film
•    Photopolymer plate
•    Exposure Frame
Sturdy backing or masonite, Same size glass or plexiglass, Bull dog clips,
Packing foam,
•    Soft brush and bowl
•    Blow dryer
•    Towel
•    Plastic Gloves for your hands
•    Silly Putty, Polymer Clay or Metal Clay to try out your plate
•    Basic Tool Kit

Making Photopolymer Plates Tutorial by Holly Gage

  • Lessons are in a PDF format are for students who need no teacher guidance with the lesson. You do, however, have an option to purchase a 1 hour question and answer session by appointment.

    To purchase a private session in addition to the self guided lesson, select the "A Private Session with Holly Gage." separately. You can select how many sessions you would like. Sessions are live on the Go to Meeting platform. This option is for seeking answers to questions and have an interest in seeing  Holly Gage perform select demonstrations.

    ©2021 Gage Designs. All rights reserved. This lesson and information within are protected under copyright law. Sharing or reproduction in whole or part are prohibited.

  • Each tutorial suggests what Metal Clay to use, but you can use the clay you choose with these guidelines in mind since clay preference is an individual choice.

    I tend to use Metal Clay with a good melting surface, which means adding water to eliminate imperfections on the greenware surface makes an excellent "self slip" that you can move around with a brush or healing tool to smooth the surface. Many of the lessons use this technique.

    Since PMC Sterling is discontinued, the handmade 960 (1/2 PMC Sterling and 1/2 Art Clay Silver) you see in some lessons can be replaced with another strong clay with good carving properties — 950, 960, Sterling Clays, and Base Metal Clays that carve smoothly without chipping.

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