In this test we sought to apply some of the techniques that proved successful in the Pronto plate process to the paper transfer process. We did not use tack reducer in the BIG. Instead, we warmed up the BIG on the hot plate. This loosened the ground, as tack reducer has done in our past tests, but did not weaken it. Finally, we altered our rolling and sponging process to be closer to the way we work up the Pronto plates. We had thought in the past that the techniques we used for the Pronto plates would not be successful on the paper, due to the more fragile nature of the surface. Yet, the Pronto plates have been yielding better proofs, so we decided to see how the paper would hold up to the process, and if the proof would give us more useful information.
Date: December 18, 2012
Researcher’s Name: Kayla Biggs and Sally Mackenzie
Plate Material: .032 Copper
Plate Size: 5.5″ x 6″
Room Temperature: 68 Degrees Fahrenheit
In this test we reclaimed the plate that was foul-bitten from the last paper test. We scraped down the texture of the plate using fine sandpaper, steel wool, and Putz Pommade. After we removed the visible and tactile information from the plate, we degreased the plate alternating Bon Ami and soy sauce and dried it with newsprint. After, we smothered a glass slab with a tablespoon of Gum Arabic, then rubbed the excess into the surface of the printed image. Meanwhile, we warmed 1 teaspoon of BIG on a metal pallette knife over the hot plate. We rolled the warmed BIG into a slab, not adding tack reducer as we normally would. We rolled the printout, then after each pass, cleaned the Gum off the roller using newsprint and sponged the paper with a damp sponge dipped in a little bit of Gum Arabic. This, we thought, would help the non-toner areas resist the BIG more effectively, so that could reduce the amount of sponging we must do (because sometimes over-sponging pulls BIG out of the toner areas and into the white areas. Over-sponging can also damage the surface of the paper fiber). We transferred the image onto our prepared plate using the Charles Brand press with 2 sizing catchers, 2 sheets of newsprint, at 0.19 pressure. The transfer was splotchy, but with the correct concentration of BIG on the surface. Some black dots of toner came free from the printout onto the surface of the plate. This was something we hadn’t seen before, and may have been the result of the additional sponging and rolling step, or maybe because the printout was stiffer and stickier from sitting a few minutes with Gum on top before rolling.
Ferric Chloride 41 Deg. Baume
Timed Application of Mordant
Removal of Grounds
We removed the ground (and toner) using Soy Solv and a toothbrush.
After Bath Evaluation
The ground held up in the bath, as we hoped it would, and the plate etched as expected. The spots of toner that had transferred also held up in the bath and took two applications of Soy Solv to loosen.
We inked the plate with Graphic Chemical Bone Black oil-based etching ink using a mat board chip. We then wiped with a tarlatan, and hand-wiped with whiting.
Paper Type: Hahnemuhle Copperplate
Paper Soaking Time: roughly 30 minutes
Press Blanket Setup: Charles Brand Press with 2 sizing catchers, at 0.19 pressure
After viewing the paper proof, we can conclude that the Pronto plate techniques apply well to the paper surface. These techniques yielded a fairly good proof. The proof was not accurate to the original printed image, but this is because the process does not yield completely accurate depictions of the original source material. The purpose of the gradient and line test plate is to give us a good idea of how the image will translate to the proof. The proof for this test was consistent with our other successful proofs. So, despite not being a direct copy of the source, we were pleased with this result.