Alternative to Solvents in Monotype: Akua Test 3

October 27, 2015
Researchers: Stephanie Motyka
Room Temperature: 68 degrees F
Humidity: low /dry
Materials: 6″x9″ PETG plate, Akua Mars Black Ink, Hot Salt water
Abstract: Finding a replacement for solvents used in monotype to create fluid textures and marks. This test is testing the reaction of hot salt water have on the ink and if it will react in a similar way to a solvent, like mineral spirits. We decided to try hot salt water because it presented to be promising based on what we know about salt used in watercolor and hot water for dissolving paint.

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Plate A
Mixture:
10mL hot water
10 spoon full of salt
-stirred constantly as each spoon full was added.
-added to a spray bottle and shaken vigorously and used immediately

Procedure
We mixed up a very salty water solution using hot water from a tea kettle. The mixture was used right after we mixed it so it did not have time to cool down. The mixer was also put into a spray bottle and shaken to ensure the salt was dissolved. I rolled the ink onto the plate before mixing the salt water fully to make sure it was hot enough and fresh.

After spraying the plate, the water puddled up and didn’t seem to be doing much to the ink. I left it sit on the plate for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes textures were not very visible so i began to dry the water with the hair dryer on high. As the water evaporated, the ink that moved and settled revealed an exciting texture and pattern resembling that of Solvents on oil based ink. This began to look very promising.

plate after being sprayed (left), after hair dryer (center), and after being printed (right)

plate after being sprayed (left), after hair dryer (center), and after being printed (right)

Print Info:
Paper: Arnham dry
Inking: Akua Mars Black, brayer to ink apply to plate
Soaking time: N/A printed dry
Press: 2 sizing catchers, takach press at 7.5

After pulling the print it translated very well from plate to paper. For the first time in these tests, the plate printed as it look and printed fulling (without acting like a resist and leaving a residue).

Print (left), print details (center), plate after printing (right)

Print (left), print details (center), plate after printing (right)

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Plate B

Mixture:
10mL hot water
10 spoon full of salt
2mL Envirostrip
-stirred constantly as each spoon full was added.
-added to a spray bottle and shaken vigorously and used immediately

Procedure:
We used the previous mixture of hot water and salt and added 2mL of Envirostrip. I proceeded similar to Test 3 on plate A. I inked the plate with the brayer and then sprayed the solution onto the plate using the spray bottle. it puddles up on the inked plate. I left it sit on the plate for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes textures were not very visible so i began to dry the water with the hair dryer on high. As the water evaporated it just looked like a residue and the salty areas turned white. The reaction was not similar to the previous Test 3 plate A. The water was also cooled by the time we performed this test. The heat of the solution may play a very important part in reacting with the ink instead of sitting on top on the surface.

Test 3, plate B before printing (left), plate after being printed (center, print (right)

Test 3, plate B before printing (left), plate after being printed (center), print (right)

The plate after it was printed had a lot of residue and ink in the areas where the spray was. This was similar to previous tests where the solution acted as a resist to the ink. The areas that printed white were because the ink could not print through the salt water Envirostrip barrier, it was not because those areas changed to be less ink and plate tone.

Print Info:
Paper: Arnham dry
Inking: Akua Mars Black, brayer to apply ink to plate
Soaking time: N/A printed dry
Press: 2 sizing catchers, takach press at 7.5

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Conclusion: 
The hot salt water alone reacted with the Akua ink in a way that is similar to solvents with oil based ink. The reaction and textures were only revealed once i began to air dry the plate on high heat so the water evaporated. The ink settled in place and was fluid and organic looking. So far, this is the best result and least toxic solution to an alternative to solvents in monotype. I plan to push this further by playing with transparent based in the ink and different amounts of salt in the hot water.

Alternative to Solvents in Monotype: Test 4 AKUA >