We are testing a soft ground mixture that consists of 3 parts Graphic Chemical Water based Block Printing Ink Peacock Blue, 2 parts Golden Acrylic Silkscreen Medium, and 1/2 part Golden GAC 200.
Date: January 9, 2008
Researcher’s Name: Liz Chalfin and Amelia Vottero
Plate Material: .032 Copper
Plate Size: 5 in x 7 in
Room Temperature: 67°F
We degreased our plates with Bon-Ami and water made into a paste. The paste was rubbed into the plates surface and rinsed away with water. The copper plates were blow dried and finished with a clean towel. We applied the soft ground mixture in several thin layers with a small Speedball roller. We used newsprint as the transfer paper and a #2 Hard pencil for drawing. We were able to draw on the grounded copper plate for over an hour without it drying out. Even after we completed our drawings the ground was still tacky. The areas that we drew appear to have lifted heavily onto the transfer paper but after examining the copper plate we see little copper showing through the ground. This leads us to believe that the etch will be faint.
The plates were etched in a vertical etching tank filled with 35° Baume Ferric Chloride.
Timed Application of Mordant
Liz- 15 minutes/rinse/15 minutes/rinse/15 minutes
Amelia- Uninterrupted 30 minute etch
Removal of Grounds
The grounds were removed using a stripper bath of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda and water (100 grams/1 liter). We rinsed the plates under water after 10 minutes of soaking in the stripper bath.
After Bath Evaluation
Very faint etching is visible with additional etching time we increased the visibility of the marks.
The plates were inked with unmodified Graphic Chemical Bone Black and 50% Graphic Chemical Stiff Black. The ink was carded on with a orange plastic scraper, wiped with used tarlatan, and hand wiped.
Paper Type: Hahnemule Copperplate
Paper Soaking Time: 15 Minutes
Press Blanket Setup: Small Takach, 2 Blankets, 8 pressure
The transfer paper picked up heavy amount of the soft ground but the etched plates have only faint marks. This must be a result of the ground being over applied and the transfer paper simply could not lift enough of the ground from the copper plates.