Sandpaper Aquatint with BIG Ground Test 6, Part 1

Test Summary
Test 6 was completed in two parts. Part 1 consisted of creating an aquatint using 400 grit sandpaper, step biting the plate 2 times, and removing the ground. In part 2 we reground the plate with BIG, created and aquatint with 400 grit sandpaper, and completed another two step-etches.

Date: October 13, 2011
Researcher’s Name: Laura Sheys and Andrea Santos
Plate Material: .032 Copper
Plate Size: 7″ x 9″
Room Temperature: 70, humid and warm

Plate Preparation
The copper plate was polished with Putz Pomade, steel wool, and a scraper to remove large marks. The plate was degreased with soy sauce that was rubbed onto the copper plate using a piece of rolled felt, rinsed and then dried with a clean rag and blow dryer. The BIG ground was applied using a hand roller and hardened in the oven at 220 degrees for 10 minutes. On the plate we laid 400 grit sandpaper face down and ran it through the etching press for a total of 8 times. After each pass we slightly turned the sandpaper in a clockwise motion to ensure an even impression. After 4 passes the sandpaper was removed and replaced with a new piece. We drew lines into the plate with an etching needle and stopped out areas with litho crayon and sharpie.

Etching Notes
Plates was rinsed well under-water after prepping the aquatint at the press. Each plate was etched in a vertical etching tank of 38° Baume Ferric Chloride for a total of 10 minutes.

Timed Application of Mordant
The copper plate was initially etched for 3 minutes. We took the plate out of the bath, rinsed under running water, and stopped out area with Z-Acryl. We then allowed the Z-Acryl to air dry and etched the plate for another 7 minutes.

Removal of Grounds
The ground was removed with a clean rag, Soy Solve, and Simple Green. We used alcohol to remove the Z-Acryl stop-outl. After we removed BIG the plates were rinsed in water and deoxidized in the plate brightener bath made of distilled white vinegar and salt (1 gallon/1 cup). It took a few applications and a toothbrush to scrub the ground completely off.

After Bath Evaluation
The litho crayon washed away after the first step etch. There are a few areas near the copper plate’s edges where the BIG ground was worn away but overall the ground held up well.



Inking Methods
The plate was inked using Daniel Smith Creamy French Black thinned with a drop of #00 burnt plate oil. The ink was carded on with mat board scraps, wiped in gentle circular motions with used tarlatan, and then palm wiped.

Paper Type: Hahnemuhle Copperplate
Paper Soaking Time: 15 minutes
Press Blanket Setup: 7.5, 2 blankets, small tabletop Takach press

Test Conclusion
The tones were even and consistent across the plate’s surface and there was a clear difference between the 3 and 10 minute step etch areas. The litho crayon and Sharpie were successful stop outs.

Printed Images



Sandpaper Aquatint with BIG Ground Test 6, Part 2 >