Date: April 28th, 2016
Researchers: Katie St. John and Liv Stanislas
Room Temperature: 68 degrees Fahrenheit
Humidity, etc: Dry, no humidity
Materials: 4″x 6″ Copper Plate 0.032 Gauge, 365 2X Concentrated Laundry Detergent, Ivory Bar Soap, Guerra Titanium White Pigment, Linseed Oil, Water, and Graphic Chemical Bone Black Ink.
Abstract: This experiment built upon our questions about aquatint. We tested whether or not aquatint could be applied after the ground if we did not apply heat to the plate, and whether this would affect the potency of the ground in the ferric bath.
Plate Preparation (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
Sprayed acrylic aquatint after applying ground, plate was allowed to air dry for one hour and ten minutes with no heat setting and used the same day
Soap ground recipes: 365 Whole Foods MarkttLaundry Detergent ½ tsp, Shaved Soap ½ tsp, Guerra Pigment ½ tsp, Linseed Oil ¼ tsp
*Shaved soap was grated on a typical kitchen grater, smallest size grater available, and then crumbled by hand to a consistency of short-grain rice. The crumbled soap at this point is four weeks old.
Application of the shaved soap ground:
The ground attached to the plate very smoothly and without the aquatint no graying occurred. Because of this order of application, the plate was infinitely workable unlike the pre-aquatinted plates. This was the same result as our first test focusing on aquatint. The aquatint applied afterwords is much more visible than applied before.
Etching bath notes: 38.5 degrees Baume ferric chloride
Etched in horizontal bath with agitation every 2 minutes or so
Time in bath: 23 minutes
After bath evaluation
The ground was much stronger in the bath, with less flaking and more preserved detail.
Removal of grounds (chemicals used and evaluation of effectiveness)
Removed residual soap grounds with 7th Generation degreaser and wiping with rags: The degreaser was effective, and the ground was more resistant to removal.
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)
Ink: Graphic Chemical Bone Black with no modifiers
Tarlatan wiping with a short paper wipe to finish
Paper type: Hannemuhle Copper Plate Bright White, ⅛ sheet
Soaking time: 25 minutes
Press (blanket set up and pressure): Tabletop Takach; 0.6 pressure with 2 sizing catchers
Conclusions: The aquatint can be applied before or after the soap ground as long as it air dries when applied after the soap ground. There is little to no difference between the two.