September 29, 2015
Researchers: Kristina Key, Stephanie Motyka
Room Temperature: 74º F
Humidity: high humid
Materials: Copper, Soy Wax Soft Ground (Soy Wax & Litho Ink), Zea Mays Acrylic Stop Out, 39º baume ferric, etching tray, different mark making tools.
Abstract: Pushing the boundaries of the Soy Wax Litho Ink Soft Ground by testing a stronger ferric bath for etching. We wanted to test the durability of the soy wax litho ink soft ground in a full strength ferric chloride bath (39º baume).
Soy Wax Litho Ink Soft Ground Mixture:
55% Soy Wax and 45% Lithographic Ink (found in previous tests for this research)
After the plate was beveled and degreased, the soft ground was rolled on using a roller on the hot plate. It was difficult to get an even coating of the softground because the brayer would slide and pick up small areas if the plate was too hot or too cold. Once applied, we used a variety of mark making tools to draw into the soft ground across the whole plate. We placed the plate into the 39º baume ferric chloride for one minute. We removed the plate, rinsed the ferric chloride off, then let it dry. We applied the Zea Mays Acrylic Stop Out to cover up the first increment of time, dried it with a blow dryer, then applied a second coat (dried with blow dryer too). We continued this method after the one minute increment for 5, 12, 20, 30, and 40 minutes. When rinsing the plate off in between steps it took more water/effort to get the ferric chloride off of the plate. To remove the soft ground and stop out, the plate was placed on a hot plate and wiped clean with a rag.
Ink used: Graphic Chemical 514 Bone Black
Paper type: Hanemuehle Copperplate
Soaking time: 15 minutes
Press, blanket set up, and pressure: Takach Press, .6 pressure, 2 sizing catchers
Proof shows more plate tone than the rest of the tests done. Even though there is plate tone, the soft ground marks hold up in the bath.
The area etched for one minute is significantly lighter than the rest, but still visible. The softground held up well through the 40 minutes in the full strength 39º baume ferric chloride bath. We have concluded that the soy wax litho ink soft ground can be used in a regular ferric chloride bath without the ground being compromised.