BIG Soft Ground Research Test 4

Test Summary
The failed drawings of test 3 led to the conclusion that the ground may need to be altered after being rolled unto the plate. I speculate if red BIG can be stabilized by partial heat setting the copper plate on a hotplate set at 150° for 20 minutes the transfer paper will not overlift the red BIG.

Date: October 27, 2010
Researcher’s Name: Lyell Castonguay
Plate Material: .032 Copper
Plate Size: 6 in x 6 in
Room Temperature: 75° and sunny

Plate Preparation
The plate was degreased with soy sauce that was rubbed on using a piece of rolled felt, rinsed and then dried with a clean rag and blow dryer. Several thin layers of red BIG were rolled across the surface of the copper plate, building gradually enough so the copper did not sparkle through the ground. I set the grounded plate on a hotplate set at 150° F for 20 minutes. The plate was then removed from the hotplate and allowed to cool to room temperature. I used newsprint as a transfer paper, gently laid across the surface of the plate, and a soft color pencil was used for drawing. The image was completed in an hour within 15 minute increments. I hardened the ground for 30 minutes in the hotbox until the ground was smooth to the touch without any tack.

Lyell's drawing and transfer

Lyell’s drawing and transfer

Etching Notes
Each plate was etched using Ferric Chloride taken from the regularly used vertical tank, which read at 38° Baume.

Timed Application of Mordant
30 Minutes

Removal of Grounds
The ground was removed using Eco Strip, a non-toxic paint stripper made by Homestrip. The plates were rinsed in water and deoxidized in the plate brightener bath made of distilled white vinegar and salt (1 gallon/1 cup). Immediately following the brightener bath they were dried with a clean rag and blow dryer.

After Bath Evaluation
The transfer paper lifted too much in unwanted areas. The plate appears to have foul bite over the entire surface. Even the partial heatset did not change the way the ground reacted to the paper overlay.

Lyell's etched plate

Lyell’s etched plate

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

Paper Type: Hahnemule Copperplate
Paper Soaking Time: 30 Minutes
Press Blanket Setup: Sizing Catcher and Pusher, 6.5 pressure, Small Takach Etching Press

Test Conclusion
Even after heating the plate for 20 minutes the red BIG is still too unstable to draw. The ground has a certain tack that is really difficult to draw through without lifting too much ground.

Printed Images

Lyell's Print

Lyell’s Print

BIG Soft Ground Research Test 5 >