View Full Version : ??? Soft Ground Recipe ???

04-22-2003, 05:36 PM
ahoy...i am needing a soft ground and i don't want to wait for strange oddball ingredients to arrive in mail.

does anyone have a recipe for soft ground as it applies to etching that i can make with common ingredients?


04-23-2003, 06:03 PM
I figured it out

I needed more Vaseline in the ground

Last night saw me doing experiments in the garage. I had read that regular ol’ axle grease added to hardground or beeswax would make the ground softer, but the grease gun that I found had little left in it and I guess it wasn’t enough.

I have a ground that works a bit better now. In case anyone is interested today or in a year, here’s what I did:

A small piece of steel plate was used as a mixing palette for making the ground. My hotplate is a $26 pancake/croissant griddle with non-stick surface which I try to protect, so I used the steel plate to mix on.

Using a palette knife I melted some hardground down to gooey paste consistency. I added to that about 30% Vaseline…so it ended up being about 3 parts Vaseline to 7 parts hardground. This didn’t work that great…it was a bit too hard yet, I had to bear down too much and that put a damper on my execution, so I added another part or so Vaseline. This seemed to work ok. The plate is delicate and any small smudge will bite.

I did some experimental sketches...these are the plates not the prints...please excuse the vertiacal venetian blind lines caused by scanner. :(



04-25-2003, 03:07 AM
Brian, I was in the middle of a reply to you when the system went down today, and then a big storm came through which caused several power outages :(

Anyway, I have tried making my own soft ground before, but gave up, because it never worked as well as I wanted it to. What I suggest is getting a little jar of Charbonnel "Lamour" soft black ground. It is a bit spendy, but not outrageously so. In the long run the cost will be worth it, because you will not have to be using your hard ground, and all the other ingredients it takes to make soft ground. My college prof told me that the Charbonnel will probably last me a good many years. She was right. I have had my jar for 6 years and have barely made a dent in it. It takes so little to cover even a large plate that it pays for itself.

BTW, did I tell you that I framed your print as soon as I got it? My husband loved it, and so has everyone else that has seen it. You do wonderful work :)