Sandpaper Aquatint with BIG Ground Test 7, Part 2

Test Summary
In this experiment we will continue to use our copper plate from the previous test. We will re-etch areas using 320 grit sandpaper to create an aquatint impression into the BIG ground. Ideally we wanted nice velvety darks in the print without losing the lighter areas.

Date: November 4, 2011
Researcher’s Name: Laura Sheys and Andrea Santos
Plate Material: .032 copper
Plate Size: 6″ x 7″
Room Temperature: 75

Plate Preparation
We began by burnishing highlights into areas that had etched light gray in the copper plate. 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 copper plate we laid 220 grit sandpaper face down and ran it through the etching press a total of 5 passes. After the first 2 passes we used a fresh piece of sandpaper. After each pass we slightly turned the sandpaper in a clockwise motion to ensure an even impression. The plate looked textured with about 50% bare copper visible under magnification.

Etching Notes
The plate was rinsed well under-water after prepping the aquatint at the press. The plate was etched in a vertical etching tank of 38° Baume Ferric Chloride for a total of 12 minutes.

Timed Application of Mordant
The plate was etched for 12 minutes in the Ferric Chloride. First we applied Z-Acryl stop out and allowed the plate to sir dry before etching for 6 minutes. Then we took the plate out of the bath, rinsed it under running water, and stopped out more areas on the plate with Z-Acryl. We placed the plate back in the Ferric to etch for another 6 minutes.

Removal of Grounds
The ground was removed with a clean rag, Soy Solve, and Simple Green. 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. We also noticed that freshly applied BIG is easier to remove than ground that has been on the copper plate for days.

After Bath Evaluation
The ground was fully intact after etching and the Z-Acryl stop out was not degraded at all.



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: 2 blankets, 7.0 pressure, large Takach press

Test Conclusion
This printed proof had an improved range of values. The areas where we etched for longer periods is a dark black and the stopped out areas are well differentiated. The burnishing created white highlights with minimal effort.

Printed Images

State 2

State 2

Sandpaper Aquatint with BIG Ground Test 8 >