Alternative to Solvents for Monotype: Akua Test 1

October 27, 2015
Researchers: Stephanie Motyka
Room Temperature: 68 degrees F
Humidity: low /dry
Materials: 6″x9″ PETG plate, Akua Mars Black Ink.
Abstract: Finding a replacement for solvents used in monotype to create fluid textures, reticulated tones, and marks. This test is testing the reaction Envirostrip has on the ink and if it will react in a similar way to a solvent, like mineral spirits. We decided to try Envirostrip because it uses enzymes to break down emulsion in silkscreen and thought the active natural enzymes may react positively to breaking down the ink.


To begin, I washed the plate with soapy water and dried it, then rolled out the Akua ink evenly with a brayer, as normal. I applied the concentrated Envirostrip using a spray bottle and allowed it to sit for 10 minutes of the plate. After the plate sat with the solution on top of it, I hair dried, on high, the moisture dry for about 5 minutes. The plate did not show the reaction we are looking for.

The plate with Envirostrip (left), the plate dried (right)

The plate with Envirostrip (left), the plate dried and after being printed (right)

The areas with the Envirostrip acted more as a resist to the ink printing than reacting with the ink to create textures. The textures are mainly from the spray bottle which left a residue on the plate. The residue appeared to act as a resist/stencil on the plate.

Envirostrip Test Printed

Envirostrip Test Printed

Printing Info.
Paper: Arnham printed dry
Soaking Time: N/A, printed dry
Press: 2 sizing catchers, takach press at 7.5

The Envirostrip acted more as a block-out resist to the ink instead of reacting with the ink to change the texture and appearance. The spray marks are purely from the Envirostrip drying on the surface of the ink rather than creating a texture. If this texture is desired, Envirostrip would be an option. Still, it is non-toxic and could perhaps be deleted 10 to 1 in water.

Alternative to Solvents in Monotype: Test 2 AKUA >