Icing Sugar Aquatint #1

Test Summary
This experiment tests a process developed by Andrew Baldwin in which icing sugar is used to create an aquatint. Methods learned from Andrew Baldwin were replicated in this experiment with the intention of producing a smooth, even aquatint.

Date: June 8, 2011
Researcher’s Name: Cara Borelli
Plate Material: Copper
Plate Size: 6 in x 6 in
Room Temperature: 72°, Low humidity because of AC

Plate Preparation
Plate was beveled, burnished, degreased using soy sauce, deoxidized, and BIG ground was applied. For icing sugar application:

Application 1: Two tablespoons of icing sugar were sieved twice using a tea strainer. The sugar tray in the aquatint box was wiped clean of sugar with a clean rag. A hair dryer was used on high and cold to disperse the sugar throughout the box. The hair dryer hole was covered with a rag while the sugar settled. After 50 minutes the plate was analyzed and it was determined that it was not 60% covered with sugar, and therefore a second sugar application was needed.

Application 2: Two additional tablespoons of icing sugar were sieved twice using a tea strainer. The sugar tray in the aquatint box was not was wiped clean. A hair dryer was used on high and cold to disperse the sugar throughout the box. The hair dryer hole was covered with a rag while the sugar settled. After 40 minutes the plate was analyzed and appeared to be more coated with some sugar having dissolved into the ground. The plate was then taken out of the aquatint box and put in the baking oven to sit for 30 minutes so that no dust would get onto the ground.

Baking the ground:
After 40 minutes the sugar on the plate did not appear to have dissolved more so the plate was baked in the oven for 6 minutes and was left to sit in the oven for 30 minutes after baking was complete. Analysis of the plate showed a mottled, uneven texture.

Water Baths: (after the ground is hardened, the plate is submerged in hot water to dissolve the sugar)
Water Bath 1: The plate is submerged in nearly boiling water and agitated continuously by moving the tray the plate and water are in. After two minutes the plate is removed and dried with newspaper.
Water Bath 2: The plate is submerged in nearly boiling water and agitated continuously by moving the tray the plate and water are in. After two minutes the plate is removed and dried with newspaper.

Aquatint Box

Aquatint Box

Plate after sugar application.

Plate after sugar application.

Etching Notes
Plate was etched in a vertical etching tank of Ferric Chloride at 37° Baume.

Timed Application of Mordant
5 minutes.

Removal of Grounds
Ground was removed using Soy Solv and a clean rag. The plate was then rinsed with water and dried with newspaper.

After Bath Evaluation
Weak aquatint with etching denser in the middle. What we saw break through the ground after etching was what we saw when the ground was removed.

Inking Methods
The plate was inked with unmodified Graphic Chemical & Ink Co. Bone Black Etching Ink #514. The ink was carded on with mat board scraps, wiped with used tarlatan, and then palm wiped.

Paper Type: Hahnemuhle Copperplate
Paper Soaking Time: 15 minutes
Press Blanket Setup: Sizing Catcher and Pusher, 7 pressure, Small Takach Etching Press

Test Conclusion
The weak aquatint may be a result of too much ground, not enough sugar, or the sugar did not dissolve enough in the ground.

Printed Images

ISA_1_print_a

 

ISA_1_print_b

 

Icing Sugar Aquatint #2 >