I decided to repeat the process Lyell and I have developed to create a soft-ground but extend the amount of time that I drew unto the plate. I left the plate unhardened over a period of 24 hours and pushed open drawing time of BIG to its limits.
Date: November 24, 2010
Researcher’s Name: Brianna Ashe
Plate Material: .032 Copper
Plate Size: 6 in x 6 in
Room Temperature: 64°F cloudy, rainy
The plate was degreased with soy sauce that was rubbed onto the plate using a piece of rolled felt, rinsed and then dried with a clean rag and blow dryer. Several thin layers of black BIG were rolled across the surface of the copper plate, building gradually enough so the copper did not sparkle through the ground. Before drawing the plate was heatset at 150° for 5 minutes on a hotplate to take away the ground’s wet sheen. I used Clearpoint drafting vellum as the transfer paper and a hard “H” pencil for drawing. I placed the paper carefully onto the surface of the copper plate so as not to disturb the ground. We immediately cleaned the roller and slab with diluted Simple Green and a rag after grounding the copper plate. I drew for 20 minutes and let sit for an hour and drew again for 10 minutes. I left the plate untouched over night and the following morning drew for with a hard pencil for 15 minutes and also used my finger attempting to pick up tonal areas of the print. I hardened the ground for 30 minutes on the hotplate until the ground was smooth to the touch without any tack.
The plate was etched in a vertical etching tank of Ferric Chloride at 38° Baume
Timed Application of Mordant
Removal of Grounds
The ground was removed using the citrus cleaner “D-Solve” by Z-Acryl. The “D-Solve” has a powerful citrus scent, but does an incredible job removing BIG. It is sprayed onto the plate and wiped clean with a rag. After removing the ground the plate was rinsed in water and deoxidized in the plate brightener bath made of distilled white vinegar and salt (1 gallon/1 cup). Immediately following the brightener bath the plate was dried with a clean rag and blow dryer.
After Bath Evaluation
Even after letting the plate sit overnight the lines translated well. However the tone I tried to achieve after letting the plate sit overnight did not etch. This leads me to believe that the ground has an open time of close to 24hrs but it is best to complete the drawing within 12 hrs of application.
The plate was inked with unmodified Graphic Chemical & Ink Co. Bone Black Etching Ink #514. The ink was carded on with mat board scraps, wiped with used tarlatan, and then palm wiped.
Paper Type: Hahnemule Copperplate
Paper Soaking Time: 30 Minutes
Press Blanket Setup: Sizing Catcher and Pusher, 6.5 pressure, Small Takach Etching Press
Excellent results. I am pleased that the use of the black BIG and the heat set before drawing appear to be the way to create a nice softground line drawing.