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. The focus of this experiment was to apply even less ground to the plate than in Experiment 4.
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 using a brayer that had already been used to ground a different plate. The brayer was not recharged, and only the excess ground was used. The ground was applied very thinly with a few random copper speckles still visible.
For icing sugar application:
Application 1: Six tablespoons of icing sugar were sieved twice using the round cake 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. This was done on Friday 6/17/2011 and the plate was left to sit in the aquatint box with the hole covered with a rag until Wednesday 6/22/2011. The rest of this experiment takes place on Wednesday 6/22/2011. The temperature was 78Â° humid and raining. On Wednesday, the plate was removed from the box and was densely coated with sugar and deemed ready for baking.
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. The plate looks the same as it did before baking, and sugar that did not dissolve into the ground can be brushed off.
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. To the touch there is not a lot of texture, however through the magnifier lots of texture is 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 agitated continuously by moving the tray the plate and water are in. After 10 minutes the plate is removed and dried with newspaper. Through a magnifier there are small dense bubbles in an uneven texture.
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
Before the ground was removed, the plate was not textured to the touch, and not a lot of copper was visible through the magnifier. The plate does not appear to be more significantly etched than previous plates.
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
While the texture of this aquatint is finer than previous plates, the aquatint is still very weak and uneven. Applying the ground very thinly did not result in a stronger aquatint.