Photographic Silk Aquatint Test 20 – Attempting to Perfect Progress on 230 Mesh

Researchers: Mady Lacaprucia and McKenzie Stuetzel

Date: 2-6-18   Temperature: 68 F, Not humid

Experiment Title: Attempting to Perfect Progress on 230 Mesh

Experiment Goal: While using the 230 mesh has proven to work the best and give us our best results so far, there are still problems we are having with the washing out process of the emulsion in some of the areas in our plates. is this the biggest variable?

Mesh Size: 230 Mesh Count

Procedure: For this test, we are essentially repeating Test 18 and printing the same three images again: McKenzie’s etching, Mady’s bridge, and the portrait of the man. Looking through the extreme magnifier showed us that some of our plates still had thin layers of emulsion on them, which was preventing our prints from printing dark. We prepared the plate with our usual method, using silkscreen 230 mesh and image positives with a bitmap frequency of 46 and an angle of 22.5.

When washing out the emulsion, we tried to be careful and to make sure we washed out enough emulsion, but not so much that the emulsion started to come away in places where it wasn’t supposed to. Techniques used were gently patting (not rubbing) the emulsion with a finger under water and using a soft brush in delicate areas.

Exposure: 5:15 minutes still

Removing of Emulsion: Warm water using fingers and a very soft brush to take off the excess emulsion. during this process for McKenzie’s plate using a brush was crucial into getting into the tiny lines of her image.

Inking Methods: Gamblin Bone Black with //burnt Plate Oil/1 test with 1/3 transparency base to ink. Use plastic card to spread ink on plate, then wipe with tarlatan.

Print 1: Mady’s Bridge photo.

This print was okay but not as good as some previous ones. The white areas were clean and the print was dark, but a lot of details got lost in the water and the rock area. It may be that this plate was washed out a little too much, or over-exposed slightly.

Print 1

Print 2: McKenzie’s hand drawn intaglio printed image.

This print came out fantastic. The white areas wiped cleanly away, and the print was very dark and bold and not gray like some previous plates. We think that washing out that extra emulsion really made a difference and made this print come out great.

Print 2

Print 3: The Man Portrait found on the internet.

The portrait of the man was similar to Mady’s bridge. We have been able to achieve a better tonal range of him in previous prints.

Print 3

Conclusions: Overall these images came out great with light whites and darks blacks. McKenzie’s etching finally came out with more dark black values and visible lines, better than any before it. the other two images were printed better in test 18 and clearly goes to show what can happen during the washing out portion of this test. you can either go to far with washing out, or not wipe enough of the emulsion away leaving the image at a gray scale look when printed.

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