Non Conventional Aquatint X:
Date: May 11, 2017
Temperature: 75 Degrees
Researchers: Claire Crews and Samuel Guerin
As with the previous experiment, we aimed for a more total coverage on this plate, spraying until the medium was thick and heavy on the plate, so that it would act as a more effective resist. As soon as we were done spraying we quickly disrupted the medium on the plate before it had time to dry. In this instance, we placed a piece of tarletan onto the plate surface and ran it through the press set for copper plate printing. We protected the press blankets with two layers of newsprint to absorb any medium that offset through the tarletan.
We hardened the ground in the hotbox for 30 minutes, backed, and etched in 39 baume ferric chloride for 20 minutes to really get a crisp, dark read from the lifted marks. Flushed, stripped, and deoxidized.
The texture read is highly defined in the lifted texture while still retaining some stippled texture between the lifted lines. We inked and printed in Graphic Chemical 514C bone black with 20% transparent base, and printed on the Brand at 0.13 on Hannamule Copperplate Crème.
Conclusion: Both plates in experiments IX and X printed as irregular, but passable facsimiles of soft ground. There is an unpredictability when a lifted area solidly holds ink, and when it only holds ink around its edges, and how consistently and cleanly the oversprayed areas resist. We have, at least, confirmed that the ability of the aquatint medium to remain fluid on the plate allows for us to treat it both as ground and dot pattern to achieve variation in the single etch using a single tool. If we continue to investigate the possibility of aquatint medium as a soft ground alternative, we plan to experiment with different methods of application (chipbrushes) to ensure a more consistent and recreatable ground, and determine how long the aquatint spray remains workable before drying.