Bioplastic Hardground Research

Researchers:  Megan Ogden and Zoe Dong

In these experiments we are looking at using bioplastic as an alternative to acrylic based grounds. Bioplastics are made from renewable biomasses, where as acrylics are made from synthetic plastics, thus non-renewable. We designed them to test materials that can be found in many studios and we are looking for grounds that hold up to step etching, are easily applied.

Our first tests explored Methyl Cellulose as a hard ground. Methyl cellulose is an adhesive commonly used in bookbinding and chine collé in printmaking. It is a white powder derived from cellulose and is water soluble, which could create challenges in our research.

Our second tests explored starch based bio-plastics as a hard ground. This type of bioplastic can be made with different starch bases such as tapioca, potato, or corn starch. Bioplastics made this way are water soluble. To try and counteract this we tested adding silicon dioxide, a hydrophobic powder also known as silica. Silicon dioxide is commonly found in sand and as quarts, it is used as a food grade substance to reduce clumping.

                                                                                                                                          First Experiment>