Tuesday, 23 August 2011

soft ground experiments

With time to spare in the workshop today I decided to try some experiments in soft ground etching. Soft ground has always been my favourite way to create etched images but as we are a 'non toxic' workshop the traditional method of melting wax onto the plate is out. I read that Graphic Chemical relief ink can be used as a ground; soft when it's wet and then also as a hard ground when it's dry, and thought it might be worth a try...


I tried various thicknesses of ink, applied with a roller, and various different tools to draw both through paper (which lifts off ground) and directly (which displaces it). I tried drawing on the plate as soon as it was coated, then at 10 minute intervals as the ink dried. Unlike my previous attempts with a different acrylic soft ground, this ink seems to dry quite slowly giving a large window of opportunity for drawing... top image drawn through paper after 5 mins, bottom drawn after 35 mins...

I also tried painting with various consistencies of the ink directly on the un-coated plate, and used water to dissolve parts creating the opposite effect...

I didn't get chance to etch the plates as the ink takes up to 24 hours to dry depending on thickness, but I can't wait to see what they all turn out like as it feels quite promising. Now I've just got to work out the etching times...

P.S. I like the little mono prints made with the removed ink too :)

6 comments:

Jack Oudyn said...

Love the results, can't wait to see a print. Why is melting wax toxic Sarah?

Sarah said...

Hi Jack, good question, it's more about the solvents you have to use to remove the wax from the plate (turps etc). Also there we don't have hot plates in the workshop to reduce the risk of burned students!

Jack Oudyn said...

Thanks Sarah
I have heard that the fumes from the wax if you heat it too much can also be toxic. I use wax in my drawing and painting being careful to work in a well ventilated space and not letting the wax smoke.

Sarah said...

Sounds like you're being pretty safe, which is good! It's a toxic world we live in isn't it :)

Velma said...

nice prints...

Gigi said...

Beautiful, as everything you create. Bravo:)