Researchers: Michael Barrett, Angela Zammarelli, 2014
Updated Research: Olivia Arau McSweeney, Pace Knowles-Donnelly, Margo Temple, 2019
This research was conducted to create a comparable substitute for the very popular and no longer commercially available Faust Transparent Base Extender Q699. This research created our own transparent base using simple and easily obtainable ingredients. We found that the ZMP Transparent Base wipes evenly into a range of etched surfaces, from dense aquatint to finer hard ground lines. It is non-oxidizing, meaning one’s inks will have a truer tone than when printed using Faust Transparent Base on copper plates. We tested ZMP Transparent Base on both photopolymer and copper plates.
Materials (for approximately 1 cup final volume):
*This is a 1:3:1/4 ratio mixture. One can make larger or smaller quantities for similar results.
3 cups Magnesium Carbonate (MgCO3)
1 cup Burnt Plate Oil
1/4 cup Setswell Compound (Hanco Ink MS-1025)
Recipe for Creating Transparent Base Extender
Step 1: In a container using a palette knife, mix the burnt plate oil and Setswell compound.
Step 2: Pour 1 cup of MgCO3 on a level glass or plexiglass surface and create a well in the powder.
Step 3: Pour approximately 1/4 of the oil/Setswell mix into the well and begin to blend with a palette knife.
Step 4: Add the second cup of MgCo3 and the rest of the oil/Setswell mixture and blend until completely enveloped. Then add the third cup of MgCO3 and blend until the powder is again completely enveloped. The mixture at the beginning of this step may seem dry, but as you work the MgCO3 into the mixture it will become smooth and buttery.
You are now ready to modify your inks with this transparent base.
Handmixed on the left. Manufactured on the right
Creating a Substitute for Faust transparent Base
This recipe is now produced commercially by Hanco Ink as Zea Mays Transparent Etching Base
Research project tests
Creating a substitute for Faust Transparent Base Test 1
Creating a substitute for Faust Transparent Base Test 2
Creating a substitute for Faust Transparent Base Test 3
Creating a substitute for Faust Transparent Base Test 4
Creating a substitute for Faust Transparent Base Test 5
Creating a substitute for Faust Transparent Base Test 6
Creating a substitute for Faust Transparent Base Conclusion