This experiment tests a process developed by Andrew Baldwin in which icing sugar is used to create an aquatint. Methods learned from Andrew Baldwin were replicated in this experiment with the intention of producing a smooth, even aquatint. This experiment focused on applying less ground and also employed a new round cake sieve. This new sieve was used because it is much finer than the tea strainer.
Date: June 17, 2011
Researcher’s Name: Cara Borelli
Plate Material: copper
Plate Size: 6 in x 6 in
Room Temperature: 76°, Humid, Raining
Plate was beveled, burnished, degreased using soy sauce, deoxidized, and BIG ground was applied. For the application of the BIG ground, ground was applied so that the plate was covered and then excess ground was taken off with a clean brayer so that oxidation on the plate showed through. There was also some dust in the ground.
For icing sugar application:
Application 1: Six tablespoons of icing sugar were sieved twice using the new sieve. The sugar tray in the aquatint box was vacuumed clean using a shop vac. A hair dryer was used on high and cold to disperse the sugar throughout the box. The hair dryer hole was covered with a rag while the sugar settled. After 50 minutes the plate was analyzed, and it was determined that the plate was well covered and ready to be baked.
Baking the ground:
The plate was baked in the oven for 6 minutes and was left to sit in the oven for 30 minutes after baking was complete. After baking, sugar that did not dissolve into the ground is still visible and can be brushed off. Through a magnifier you can see that there is sugar in the ground.
Water Bath 1: The plate is submerged in boiling water and agitated continuously by moving the tray the plate and water are in. After 10 minutes the plate is removed and dried with newspaper. Through the magnifier, small copper dots are visible.
Water Bath 2: The plate is submerged in boiling water and agitated continuously by moving the tray the plate and water are in. After 10 minutes the plate is removed and dried with newspaper.
Water Bath 3: The plate is submerged in boiling water and agitated continuously by moving the tray the plate and water are in. After 10 minutes the plate is removed and dried with newspaper.
Water Bath 4: The plate is submerged in boiling water and was not agitated. After 35 minutes the plate is removed and dried with newspaper. Through a magnifier, the plate looks the same as it did after Water Bath 1.
Plate was etched in a vertical etching tank of Ferric Chloride at 37° Baume.
Timed Application of Mordant
Removal of Grounds
Ground was removed using Soy Solv and a clean rag. The plate was then rinsed with water and dried with newspaper.
After Bath Evaluation
The plate appears to be more etched than previous plates, however it does still not appear the be a sufficient amount.
The plate was inked with unmodified Graphic Chemical & Ink Co. Bone Black Etching Ink #514. The ink was carded on with mat board scraps, wiped with used tarlatan, and then palm wiped.
Paper Type: Hahnemuhle Copperplate
Paper Soaking Time: 20 minutes
Press Blanket Setup: Sizing Catcher and Pusher, 7.5 pressure, Small Takach Etching Press
The thinner ground was more effective in producing a stronger aquatint. While this plate produced more tone than previous plates, the tone is still very uneven and the aquatint is still weak. Future tests will focus on applying even less ground.