White Ground Alternatives Using Suspended Pigment: Test 10

Date: April 28th, 2016

Researchers: Katie St. John and Liv Stanislas

Room Temperature: 68 degrees Fahrenheit

Humidity, etc: Dry, no humidity

Materials: 4″x 6″ Copper Plate 0.032 Gauge, 365 2X Concentrated Laundry Detergent, Ivory Bar Soap, Guerra Titanium White Pigment, Linseed Oil, Water, and Graphic Chemical Bone Black Ink.

Abstract: This experiment built upon our questions about aquatint. We tested whether or not aquatint could be applied after the ground if we did not apply heat to the plate, and whether this would affect the potency of the ground in the ferric bath.

Plate Preparation (surface prep, ground application, image making process, etc.):

Burnished out significant lines, Steel wool sanded then Putz Pomade applied; Cleaned with 7th Generation Degreaser

Degreased with soy sauce, backed with contact paper

Sprayed acrylic aquatint after applying ground, plate was allowed to air dry for one hour and ten minutes with no heat setting and used the same day

Soap ground recipes: 365 Whole Foods MarkttLaundry Detergent ½ tsp, Shaved Soap ½ tsp, Guerra Pigment ½ tsp, Linseed Oil ¼ tsp

*Shaved soap was grated on a typical kitchen grater, smallest size grater available, and then crumbled by hand to a consistency of short-grain rice. The crumbled soap at this point is four weeks old.

Application of the shaved soap ground:

The ground attached to the plate very smoothly and without the aquatint no graying occurred. Because of this order of application, the plate was infinitely workable unlike the pre-aquatinted plates. This was the same result as our first test focusing on aquatint. The aquatint applied afterwords is much more visible than applied before.

Plate with Soap Ground applied before Aquatint

Plate with Soap Ground applied before Aquatint





Etching bath notes: 38.5 degrees Baume ferric chloride

Etched in horizontal bath with agitation every 2 minutes or so

Time in bath: 23 minutes

After bath evaluation

The ground was much stronger in the bath, with less flaking and more preserved detail.


Plate with Soap Ground applied before Aquatint, after Etch


Removal of grounds (chemicals used and evaluation of effectiveness)
Removed residual soap grounds with 7th Generation degreaser and wiping with rags: The degreaser was effective, and the ground was more resistant to removal.
Placed in stripper bath for 15 minutes to remove the aquatint
Placed in deoxidizer bath

Inking methods (type of ink used, modifiers, wiping/rolling techniques)
Ink: Graphic Chemical Bone Black with no modifiers
Tarlatan wiping with a short paper wipe to finish

Paper type: Hannemuhle Copper Plate Bright White, ⅛ sheet

Soaking time: 25 minutes

Press (blanket set up and pressure): Tabletop Takach; 0.6 pressure with 2 sizing catchers

aquatint no heat

Conclusions: The aquatint can be applied before or after the soap ground as long as it air dries when applied after the soap ground. There is little to no difference between the two.

White Ground Alternatives Using Suspended Pigment: Test 11 >