Alternative to Solvents in Monotype: Akua Test 7

November 12, 2015
Researchers: Stephanie Motyka & Kristina Key
Room Temperature:  69 º F
Humidity: low /medium
Materials: 5 1/4″x9″ PETG plate, Akua Mars Black Ink, water & washing soda, spray bottle
Abstract: Finding a replacement for solvents used in monotype to create fluid textures, reticulated tones, and marks. This test is testing the reaction that washing soda and water will have on the ink and if it will react in a similar way to a solvent, like mineral spirits. We decided to continue with washing soda and water because it presented to be promising based on how the washing soda in water acts as a break down solution for acrylics and inks.

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Test 7 A:

Neutralizer Mixture:
1 cup water
1 tbs washing soda
mixed well and poured into a spray bottle.

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Procedure:
We cleaned off the PETG plate with soapy water and dried it before beginning. After rolling out the ink with a brayer, we rolled an even layer onto the plate. We prepared four different strengths of washing soda and water solutions:

2:1 (2 cups water to 1 tbs washing soda)
1:1 (neutralizer, 1 cup water to 1 tbs washing soda)
1:2 (1 cup water to 2 tbs washing soda)
1:3 (stripper, 1 cup water to 3 tbs washing soda)

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Next, we tested how each solution would react on the Akua inked surface. We sprayed the plates with various forces and intensities and waited about 5 minutes. After waiting, we used the hair dryer to blow and move the liquid around. We made sure to place a rag under the plate to catch any liquid run off.

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"2:1" left plate, "1:1" right plate, both before printing

“2:1” left plate, “1:1” right plate, both before printing

 

"1:2" left, "1"3" center, "1:3" detail right

“1:2” left plate, “1”3″ center plate, detail of plate “1:3” right

Printing:
Paper: Arnham
Ink: Akua Mars Black
Press: Takach with 2 sizing catchers

2:1, 1:1, 1:2, 1:3 printed

2:1, 1:1, 1:2, 1:3 printed

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Test 7 B:

Since the least amount of washing soda in water still reacted, we tried to eliminate the washing soda all together to see the reaction of just plain water sprayed onto the surface of the plate.

We cleaned off the PETG plate with soapy water before beginning. We also cleaned out the spray bottle to make sure there was no washing soda inside and then filled with plain tap water at room temperature.

Plain water plate (left), plain water print (right)

Plain water plate (left), plain water print (right)

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Conclusion:
All four strengths of water and washing soda reacted to the ink on the surface of the plate. This section was most apparent once we dried the plates with the blow dryer. The forced air moves the ink and water solution around enough to create these desired textures and patterns. The plain water did react when sprayed hard onto the surface, but the result was different from the different concentrations of washing soda to water. They all provided promising results and can be used to achieve different desired textures.

Alternative to Solvents in Monotype: Test 8 AKUA >