March 10, 2016
Researchers: Katie St. John and Liv Stanislas
Room Temperature: 65 degrees Fahrenheit
Humidity, etc: Dry, no humidity
Materials: 4″x 6″ Copper Plate 0.032 Gauge, Ivory Snow Flake Soap, Titanium White Pigment (Powder), Guerra Titanium White Pigment, Artists’ Loft Level One Titanium White Paint, Linseed Oil, Water, and Graphic Chemical Bone Black Ink.
Abstract: Finding a replacement for Titanium White Powder Pigment in traditional White Ground recipes. Since Titanium White Powder Pigment can be harmful to the throat and lungs if inhaled, we used Guerra Titanium White Pigment and Artists’ Loft Titanium White Oil Paint to replicate traditional white ground. This is because the pigment is already suspended in a solution and thus less reactionary and harmful. This test is measuring the alternative pigments’ ability to replicate the reticulation, texture, tonality, and breakdown of traditional white ground.
Plate Preparation and Application (surface prep, ground application, image making process, etc.):
Burnished out significant lines, steel wool sanded then Putz Pomade applied; Cleaned with 7th Generation Degreaser; Degreased with soy sauce, backed with contact paper
Aquatinted before adding soap ground. We sprayed the acrylic aquatint through an airbrush and then heat set the spray for 20 minutes.
Soap ground recipes: Original Recipe (4 tsp Ivory Snowflake Soap, 2 tsp titanium white pigment, 1 tsp linseed oil, 1 tsp tap water)
Oil Paint Ground (4 tsp Ivory Snowflake Soap, 3 tsp Artist’s Loft level 1 titanium white oil paint, 1 tsp tap water) (omitting linseed oil addition, would need to be reconstituted because of initial dryness)
Guerra Pigment Ground (4 tsp Ivory Snowflake Soap, 2 tsp Guerra Paint & Pigment titanium white suspended pigment, 1 tsp linseed oil) (omitting water addition, the pigment is very thin so we decided on 1 tsp of linseed oil instead of 2 tsp; does not dry as quickly as the two other pigments, is generally more loose)
Applied all 3 grounds immediately, thinning the pigments with water to ease application. We applied the grounds by thinning them with water and painting them on with brushes.
Note: When all three grounds are applied with water, the black pigment in the spray acrylic aquatint separated, but left acrylic granules on plate intact.
Etching Bath notes
Etched in horizontal bath of 39 degrees Baume ferric chloride with agitation every 2 minutes or so for a total etch time of 23 minutes
Removal of grounds (chemicals used and evaluation of effectiveness)
Removed residual soap grounds with 7th Generation degreaser and wiping with rags: effective
Placed in stripper bath for 15 minutes to remove the aquatint
Placed in deoxidizer bath
Inking methods (type of ink used, modifiers, wiping/rolling techniques)
Inked in Graphic Chemical Bone Black with no modifiers, wiping with a tarlatan and finishing with a short paper wipe
Paper type: Hannemuhle Copper Plate Bright White, ⅛ sheet
Soaking time: 25 minutes
Press (blanket set up and pressure): Pelican Press with 2 sizing catchers; 0.8 pressure
Both the ground mixed with oil paint and the ground mixed with Guerra pigment held, flaked off, and acted in all ways (plate results and ground application) like the original recipe with loose titanium powder. The Guerra pigment is the less toxic of the two and is promising for future research.