In this experiment we tested 320 grit sandpaper to create an impression into the BIG ground. Ideally we wanted the sandpaper to remove just enough ground so that it creates a smooth even tone across the plates surface after being etched.
Date: November 3, 2011
Researcher’s Name: Laura Sheys and Andrea Santos
Plate Material: .032 Copper
Plate Size: 6″ x 7″
Room Temperature: 70
The copper plate was polished with Putz Pomade, steel wool, and a scraper to remove large marks. The plate was degreased with soy sauce that was rubbed onto the copper plate using a piece of rolled felt, rinsed and then dried with a clean rag and blow dryer. The BIG ground was applied using a hand roller and hardened in the oven at 220 degrees for 10 minutes. On the plate we laid 220 grit sandpaper face down and ran it through the etching press a total of 5 passes. After each pass we slightly turned the sandpaper in a clockwise motion to ensure an even impression. The plate’s surface was evenly textured after the sandpaper process. We used litho crayon as a stop out.
The plate was rinsed well under-water after prepping the aquatint at the press. The plate was etched in a vertical etching tank of 38Â° Baume Ferric Chloride for a total of 12 minutes.
Timed Application of Mordant
The plate was etched for 12 minutes in the Ferric Chloride. After the first 4 minutes we took the plate out of the bath, rinsed it under running water, and drew on the plate more with the litho crayon. We placed the plate back in the Ferric to etch for another 8 minutes.
Removal of Grounds
The ground was removed with a clean rag, Soy Solve, and Simple Green. After we removed BIG the plates were rinsed in water and deoxidized in the plate brightener bath made of distilled white vinegar and salt (1 gallon/1 cup). It took a few applications and a toothbrush to scrub the ground completely off.
After Bath Evaluation
The plate was not sufficiently grounded with BIG especially in the middle. Under magnification we could see speckles all over the plate’s surface.
The plate was inked using Daniel Smith Creamy French Black thinned with a drop of #3 burnt plate oil. The ink was carded on with mat board scraps, wiped in gentle circular motions with used tarlatan, and then palm wiped.
Paper Type: Hahnemuhle Copperplate
Paper Soaking Time: 15 minutes
Press Blanket Setup: 2 Blankets, 7 pressure, tabletop Takach press
The printed proofs were much darker than we anticipated. This may be because the coarse 320 git exposed more areas of copper. The areas that we drew with the litho crayon are light gray this may indicate that the litho crayon did not fully work.