I am testing a soft ground mixture that consists of 3 parts Graphic Chemical Water based Block Printing Ink Peacock Blue, 2 parts Golden Acrylic Silkscreen Medium, and 1/2 part Golden GAC 200. However in this test I am rolling as little ground as possible onto the copper plate’s surface.
Date: January 14, 2008
Researcher’s Name: Amelia Vottero
Plate Material: .032 Copper
Plate Size: 4 in x 3 in
Room Temperature: 70° F
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 ink across the plate’s surface just enough so that you could not see the copper sparkle through the ground. I placed the grounded copper plate on a hot plate and allowed it to dry for 50 minutes. I used newsprint as the transfer paper and a #2 hard pencil for drawing. After being on the hot plate the drawing was easier and more tonal detail was picked up. I hope that the ground lifted enough so that the Ferric will produce a strong etch.
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). After soaking the plate in the stripper bath for 10 minutes I rinsed the plate under warm water.
After Bath Evaluation
There appears to be distinct etched marks.
The plate was inked with unmodified 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: 15 Minutes
Press Blanket Setup: Small Takach, 2 Blankets, 8.0 pressure
The main details of the image are dark and defined including the bird and it’s feathers. The soft marks of the background are barely visible on the copper plate or the printed proof.