For this test I printed the Photoshop tone and line document on a Brother HL-2280DW laser toner printer using regular white printer paper. The goal of this test, and the corresponding test using Pronto Plate, is to create a document with consistent results that show how specific tones and lines translate from the original source material to the proof. In the last test I achieved a successful proof. In this test I hoped to replicate those results.
Date: December 11, 2012
Researcher’s Name: Kayla Biggs
Plate Material: .032 Copper
Plate Size: 5.5″ x 6″
Room Temperature: 68 Degrees Fahrenheit, dry
I degreased the plate alternating Bon Ami and soy sauce, then dried it with a sheet of newsprint. Next, I smothered a glass surface with 1 Tbsp gum arabic, and rubbed this into the surface of the printed image. I then rolled the image from a slab composed of 1tsp BIG with a pea-sized quantity of tack reducer. After rolling I used a damp sponge to remove the excess from the non-toner areas. Finally, I transferred the image onto the prepared copper plate using the Charles Brand press at 0.19 pressure with two sizing catchers and two sheets of newsprint. The transfer retained all of the major details of the source image, although it was splotchy in some areas. The BIG looked ‘diluted.’ It was a very light pink color. I baked the plate for 15 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
I etched the plate for 20 minutes in 41 Deg. Baume Ferric Chloride.
Timed Application of Mordant
Removal of Grounds
The ground fell off in etching, but I gave the plate a brief soak in the stripper to remove a few remaining dots.
After Bath Evaluation
When I removed the plate from the bath, all but a few tiny dots of BIG had fallen off. There was a ghost of the information from the original printed image, but most of the plate was streaky and foul-bitten.
In the last test I hypothesized that the ground fell off because I had not baked the plate at a high enough temperature. This test seems to indicate that temperature was not the problem. I did observe that the BIG looked light and diluted when pressed onto the plate. It is possible that I included too much tack reducer in the BIG mix, which can weaken the ground. Sally simultaneously prepared a Pronto plate with the same amount of tack reducer, so when she etches her plate, I will know more. If her ground also falls off, it will indicate a problem with the reducer.