I am testing a soft ground mixture that consists of 3 parts refrigerated Graphic Chemical Water based Block Printing Ink Peacock Blue, 2 parts Golden Acrylic Silkscreen Medium, and 1/2 part Golden GAC 200. I am using newsprint as the transfer paper and a #2 pencil for drawing.
Date: February 6, 2009
Researcher’s Name: Esther White
Plate Material: .032 Copper
Plate Size: 4 in x 3 in
Room Temperature: 77° F Sitting Near Open Window
I degreased the plate with Bon-Ami and water made into a paste. The paste was rubbed across the plate surface and rinsed away with water. The copper plate was blow dried and finished with a clean towel. I rolled a thin amount of ground across the plate’s surface just enough so that I could not see the copper sparkle through the ground. I waited 10 minutes before drawing. I placed the newsprint gently across the copper plate’s surface and drew for 20 minutes. I noticed that the ground looked speckled rolled onto the copper plate and it quickly became crumbly around the edges. The table and roller were difficult to clean because the ground dried quickly. When I was drawing I had to press really hard to achieve the soft ground transfer. After I finished drawing I heated the copper plate on the hot plate until it was dry to the touch.
The plate was etched in a vertical etching tank filled with 35° Baume Ferric Chloride.
Timed Application of Mordant
20 Minutes/Rinse/10 Minutes/Rinse/15 Minutes/Rinse (A rinse consisted of lifting the copper plate out of the vertical tank, rinsing the plate with cold water, and then returning it to the etching tank.)
Removal of Grounds
The ground was removed using a stripper bath of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda and water (100 grams/1 liter). I rinsed the plate under warm water after soaking it in the stripper bath for 10 minutes.
After Bath Evaluation
There are distinct etch marks on the plate.
The plate was inked with unmodified 50% Graphic Chemical Bone Black and 50% Graphic Chemical Stiff Black. The ink was carded on with a orange plastic scraper, wiped with used tarlatan, and hand wiped.
Paper Type: Hahnemule Copperplate
Paper Soaking Time: 20 Minutes
Press Blanket Setup: Small Takach, 2 Blankets, 8.0 pressure
I could have rolled the ground on the plate thicker because false biting appeared all across the plate’s surface. Areas where I pressed harder etched a strong line. I worried that the longer the drawing time progressed the weaker the drawing would become because the ground was drying out. However time had little effect on the overall process. Areas that I drew first had the same quality as later parts of the drawing.