Alternative to Solvents in Monotype: Akua Test 6

November 3, 2015
Researchers: Stephanie Motyka & Kristina Key
Room Temperature: 65 degrees F
Humidity: low /dry
Materials: 6″x9″ PETG plate, Akua Mars Black Ink, washing soda and water mixture
Abstract: Finding a replacement for solvents used in monotype to create fluid textures, reticulated tones, and marks. This test is testing the reaction that washing soda and water will have on the ink and if it will react in a similar way to a solvent, like mineral spirits. We decided to try washing soda and water because it seemed to be promising based on how we use it daily: for stripping grounds and breaking down substances of that nature in a non-toxic way.


Plate A & B
Washing Soda and Water Mixture (“Nautralizer”):
1 gal warm water
1 cup washing soda
mixed well until it is all disolved and poured into a spray bottle.

We cleaned off the PETG plate with soapy water and dried it. Then we rolled the Akua Mars Black ink out with a brayer and rolled an even coat onto the plate. We sprayed the washing soda and water mixture onto the plate and let it sit for 2 minutes. After blow drying it in a way that moved the lifted ink around we sprayed it again to get more effect in areas. After we noticed the moment and textures, we then blow dried it completely dry for printing.

Paper type: Arnham
Soaking time: N/A
Ink: Akua Mars Black rolle don with a brayer
Press: Brand press with 2 sizing catchers


Success! The ink responded to the washing soda and water mixture in a way that produced reticulated tones and marks across the plate that then printed onto the paper. We will continue more with washing soda (sodium carbonate) and water in Test 7…

Alternative to Solvents in Monotype: Test 7 AKUA >