I will attempt to transfer textures from damp cheesecloth, cardboard, and string onto a copper plate coated with Graphic Chemical water-based block printing ink #1659.
Date: May 20, 2001
Researcher’s Name: Liz Chalfin
Plate Material: .032 Copper
Plate Size: 4.5 in x 6 in
I degreased the copper plate with Bon Ami and water made into a paste. I built up several thin layers of water-based block printing ink using a small speedball roller. I rolled in opposing directions in order to get the maximum amount of coverage. I dampened a piece of cheesecloth hoping it would stick and remove more of the ground. I layered on other textures and ran the plate through the press. There has to be enough pressure to push the textured objects into the ground and expose bare copper but not too much so that the plate’s smooth surface gets damaged. I removed the textures and allowed the plate to air dry before etching.
The plate was etched in a vertical etching tank filled with 42° Baume Ferric Chloride.
Timed Application of Mordant
Removal of Grounds
I placed the etched plate in a bath of warm water and used a nail brush to gently scrub away the ink ground. I used Bon Ami to rub away any remaining dry ink.
After Bath Evaluation
The etch looks deep with some false biting in some areas of the copper plate.
Graphic Chemical Perfection Palette Black mixed with 10% easy wipe. The ink was scraped onto the copper plate with mat-board scraps, tarletan wiped and finished with a phone book page.
Paper Type: Rives BFK
Paper Soaking Time: 20 Minutes
Press Blanket Setup: Large Takach, 2 Blankets
The etched textures are stronger and overall the etch is exceptional. I noticed false biting on the lower portion of the plate but still much better results than the previous test.