Soft Ground is a very impressionable, acid resistant, wax based medium which allows an artist to obtain delicate pencil-like lines and direct object impressions through etching. Similar to the traditional characteristics of an asphaltum based soft ground, the Soy Wax ground begins as a solid, liquifies when exposed to heat, but reverts back to a solid when cooled on a plate.
Marnix Everaert of the Academy of Fine Arts in Gent, Belgium shared his recipe and process for the “Soy Wax Litho Ink Soft Ground” when he came to Zea Mays Printmaking as a residency artist in 2015. The Soy Wax Litho Ink Soft ground is a simple two part ground consisting of soy wax and stiff lithographic ink. We were instructed that due to its delicate nature the ground is etched in a low concentration of ferric chloride (12.5° Baume). Our research has indicated that the etching bath strength can vary greatly – please see the following experiments.
Mixing the Soy Wax/Litho Ink Ground and test plates
Mixing the 12.5˙ Baume Ferric Chloride
Soy Wax Litho Ink Soft Ground Test 1>
Soy Wax Litho Ink Soft Ground Test 2>
Soy Wax Litho Ink Soft Ground Test 3>
Soy Wax Litho Ink Soft Ground Test 4a>
Soy Wax Litho Ink Soft Ground Test 4b>
Soy Wax Litho Ink Soft Ground Test 4c>