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janemoth
02-19-2005, 09:07 PM
Hey h. saps., I was having a problem, when made a rosin aquatint and etched a broad area for two minutes and then stopped out a portion of it, and put the remaining exposed area in for another ten minutes I wanted this area to be darker but the reverse was true, what's going on??

L.

jimread
02-20-2005, 04:07 AM
Not had any experience of your actual acid etching but it might be what happens in photopolymer etching when the 'dark' area is too large and the ink gets removed when the plate is wiped.

Looking at some old etchings, I bought a book of them, I see the very dense areas are not actually solid but a mixture of X and + hatched lines, so there are raised areas that would print light between the lines, though the effect from a viewing distance is more or less solid colour.

Hope that's of some help.

Jim

janemoth
02-20-2005, 03:13 PM
Thanks jim, the tonality is what I want in terms of darkness but I don't understand why the portions exposed to the acid for a shorter time are darker. I know that if you leave it in the acid too long it can actually start to undo darkness but I don't think twelve minutes would have that effect? It's nitric, 1 part to 12. Maybe you have to re-apply the rosin between etchings, but I don't see why. I was trying to get a very light tone on the figure to burnish out the highlights and this is the second time I'm trying it.
: (

jimread
02-21-2005, 01:45 PM
Dear L,

I've been thinking about this all day, well on and off, and I wonder if all the ink is coming off the plate. Could it be something to do with the roller pressure, or the paper not being pushed into the deeper recesses of the plate.

Eeeeeeeh!

Jim

Sunfilly
02-21-2005, 02:14 PM
Thanks jim, the tonality is what I want in terms of darkness but I don't understand why the portions exposed to the acid for a shorter time are darker. I know that if you leave it in the acid too long it can actually start to undo darkness but I don't think twelve minutes would have that effect? It's nitric, 1 part to 12. Maybe you have to re-apply the rosin between etchings, but I don't see why. I was trying to get a very light tone on the figure to burnish out the highlights and this is the second time I'm trying it.
: (

The longer the plate is in the acid the darker it gets, when making tones with aquatint you need to block out all white areas, stick in acid for a time take out, block out the areas for the next lightest tone, but back in acid, continue to block out for all tonal ranges. At the end the rosin does start to flake off a bit so you can re rosin the plate for the last darker stages.

emceeice
02-21-2005, 02:52 PM
I'm not really sure, but could the rosin have broken down already? I think this might have been said already, but thought I'd say it again...?
If the rosin broke down and flaked off, you'd just have a flat plane on your plate again.....
Have you ever tried a spray paint aquatint? I always hated rosin tinting, as my rosin always broke down too early. I always resorted to cross hatching EVERYTHING. hah
Good luck, let me know if this helps or not (I'm sure it doesn't)

Jon

Sunfilly
02-22-2005, 12:00 AM
Rosin does break down after awhile, and come to think of it 12 mins seems a bit long to leave it in the acid, how many tones are you doing and what times did you leave it in the acid for each tone? I have times for rosin for each tone, but my notes are in school, I will post times for you for rosin tomorrow, it may be late tomorrow as I plan to be there late.

emceeice
02-22-2005, 11:39 AM
I agree - 12 minutes does seem like a long time.
I only used nitric for steel plates.... I used.... uh..... oh geez.... what did I use? :confused:
I used some dark, dark acid.... I can't believe I don't remember...
Anyhow, some of my etch times were measured in seconds, not minutes.

Jon

Sunfilly
02-23-2005, 12:51 AM
Here are the times for aquatinting

tone------added time-------Total
White--------0---------------0
25%---------30 sec----------30 sec
50%---------2 1/2 min--------3 min
75%---------4 min-----------7 min
Black--------13--------------20 min

So basically you have rosin on the whole plate you block out any white first thing then for the first time you put in the acid for 30 sec. Then you block out any thing you want to be 25% light, then you put back in the acid for 2 1/2 mins to get your second tone. Since you already had it in the acid for 30 sec, having it in for 2 1/2 mins more will give you the total of 3 mins for 50%. So the new exposed area will be in the acid for 3 mins. The second blocked area would have been in the acid for 30 secs. so it would be a lighter tone then the 50% tone. I hope this makes sense to you.

Of course you can get more tones then just 4 by playing around with the time you leave it in the acid.

After 7-9 minutes you need to dust with rosin and bake again.

If you think you may want to do more tones, it is good to do a test plate to get the times right.

For more tones, take a plate and divide it up into 10 parts, start with 10 or 15 seconds and increase the time for each tone. Take notes of your times and you will be all set. Just remember blockit then stick it in the acid, then block some more, stick it in the acid, then block and then acid for each tone.

emceeice
02-23-2005, 11:40 AM
There are so many variables that go into etching and aquatinting, though, that I don't think you can put exact times on things.
Variables such as, the initial strength of the acid, how old it is, your ventilation, how often you agitate the acid... etc., etc....
When we left acid sit, it got weaker and weaker... sometimes if we put the plate in, and just let it sit, the rosin would break down... unless we agitated the acid a little, to get it moving around a little - strange but true.... We figured it was because the acid ate the plate, the "eaten" parts of the plate would just sit there on top of the plate, and build up, so you had to get them off of there....
Not all acids are the same!

Just my humble thoughts.

Jon

Sunfilly
02-23-2005, 01:57 PM
Sorry I should have said, these times are for nitric acid which is what Jane is using. Nitric acid is pretty hardy stuff, my teacher only changes it every semester and we have 20 students using it daily and it does not cause too many problems like you describe, it is pretty good stuff. Other acids have their own quirks for sure. And times could be different concerning which acid you use.

I part nitric acid to 12 parts water is pretty weak acid so will work great for aquatinitng.

emceeice
02-23-2005, 03:06 PM
Sorry I should have said, these times are for nitric acid which is what Jane is using. Nitric acid is pretty hardy stuff, my teacher only changes it every semester and we have 20 students using it daily and it does not cause too many problems like you describe, it is pretty good stuff. Other acids have their own quirks for sure. And times could be different concerning which acid you use.

I part nitric acid to 12 parts water is pretty weak acid so will work great for aquatinitng.


Ah ha! It's all coming together now... Yous are in school together... That helps out. Like I said earlier, I only used nitric for steel and zinc, and it did do well with aquatinting. I was pleased with it.
We used to have a feather that we would use to brush over our plates every 30-60 seconds, just to get the bubbles off and get the acid moving around. It probably did nothing, but it gave us some peace of mind. :rolleyes:

Jon

Diane Cutter
02-23-2005, 05:24 PM
... We used to have a feather that we would use to brush over our plates every 30-60 seconds, just to get the bubbles off and get the acid moving around. It probably did nothing, but it gave us some peace of mind. :rolleyes: ...
Yeah, it made you feel like you were doing something... Actually I thought it was kind of neat because you could see the etch slough off when you played with the feather...

Diane

janemoth
02-23-2005, 05:43 PM
Thanks everyone, apparently the acid is very strong. I will use Sunfilly's chart in the future, as the tones seem to correlate more to that table than what was suggested to me. I showed it to the prof. and she said that the acid bit very strongly on the figure and when I put it back in it broke down the rosin altogether, resulting in a open bite. I'm the only one using it that I know of, everyone else is using copper. The highlights I stopped out and they were raised very high, so I am thinking maybe the acid was mixed wrong as that seems pretty severe for a two minute etch. She said that I would never get the subtlety of my original intention, which was a big downer after the work I put into it. : (


regards, Lauren

Sunfilly
02-23-2005, 10:34 PM
Thanks everyone, apparently the acid is very strong. I will use Sunfilly's chart in the future, as the tones seem to correlate more to that table than what was suggested to me. I showed it to the prof. and she said that the acid bit very strongly on the figure and when I put it back in it broke down the rosin altogether, resulting in a open bite. I'm the only one using it that I know of, everyone else is using copper. The highlights I stopped out and they were raised very high, so I am thinking maybe the acid was mixed wrong as that seems pretty severe for a two minute etch. She said that I would never get the subtlety of my original intention, which was a big downer after the work I put into it. : (


regards, Lauren

Oh Laren I am so sorry to hear that. So you only have one acid bath, we have two, one with strong acid for hard and soft ground and one with weak acid for aquatinting. After hearing this I feel so appreciative for the studio we have in our community and our teacher who is so passionate about printmaking. And she always figures out a way for us to get the results we want, or as close as we can get to what we want.

Well don't despair, the good thing is you can recycle and use the back of your plate to try again if you want, don't give up and maybe you can ask your teacher to let you set up another bin with weaker acid for you. You will not believe all the plates I had that did not turn out LOL!!!! Just flip them over and start again. Oh boy I was at school today and forgot to take down the formula my teacher uses for the weak acid. What part nitrate to water, I will get that for you if you want.

sassybird
02-25-2005, 12:14 PM
Thanks for posting that formula, Deborah. I was going to do the same thing when I saw that you already did it. Following the formula is much easier and more accurate than guessing at the time.

alice's arts
02-27-2005, 09:01 AM
hi - I'm a new member and have never posted anything before, but I do have experience with etching - my major at Bennington College was visual arts/printmaking. Everything posted by sun filly is true to my experience - the only thing I would add that I have not seen posted is: The best way to know what the acid is doing is to check it often, especially while you are just getting the feel of it. To check, take all precautions that are needed when working with acid, and remove your plate, then use a needle like etching tool to prod the space that was etched, you should get a feel for how deeply your plate was etched that way. This works well for line etchings, but with aquatint, the texture of the rosin itself may make this discernment difficult. If it is not etched deeply enough, put in back in. ALSO Aquatint is delicate and the acid can bite under the rosin, bite it right off, if left in too long, then you don't get texture, and texture is what creates darkness. Also make sure your rosin is really melted on, you don't want it to just float off the plate. Also how close together are your rosin dots? The closer together without touching the darker the tone. There are so many variables ... Even overwiping - Just keep experimenting and learning the medium - don't worry about the final product, the more you learn the better it will get. Hope that is helpful -Alice

Printmakerguy
02-27-2005, 10:12 AM
hi - I'm a new member and have never posted anything before

Hello alice, and welcome to the forum! PLEASE feel free to start a new thread to introduce yourself- and post some of your work for all to see!

This is a great forum, lots of info here!

-Andrew

Diane Cutter
02-27-2005, 12:48 PM
Welcome to our forum, Alice... I'm so pleased we have another etcher in our midst... we are overrun with relief printmakers (not really, but it seems so) and need a little balance for good input from more etchers... So glad to have you here...

Diane

Sunfilly
02-27-2005, 02:12 PM
Hey welcome Alice,
Wow I am so happy we are getting more etchers here. You will have to show us some of your work.

Oh about the rosin that is a whole story in itself, it is an art to get the right amount of rosin on the plate and to get it spread on evenly on the plate, it takes a lot of practice. It is very hard for beginners but eventually you get it. I have had to do over plates so many times with rosin becuase it was too clumby in places.

Hey Charissa I'm curious you work at home right, what type of equipment do you have to put rosin on plates, or any one that does it at home.

It is so messy even the box we have at school it is hard to not get the dust flying all over the place. We have rock rosin we stuff in stockings and crush with our hand then, hold it over the plate and go back and forth over it to get an even coat. In the box we have a a platform made of chichen wire so the plate floats in the box. We can also put the plate in and stir up the loose rosin on the bottom and then close the top of the box and let the rosin settle on the plate, but I find it never gets enough on it unless you do it about 10 times or so but it does get a nice even coat on it that way. Our equipment at school is great except for our rosin box, it has a heavy lid on the top that folds up like an accordian and it is really heavy, just to stir up the rosin and close the lid really quick does not work out to well, LOL!!! that is why most of the etchers in my class resort to using paint for aquatinting instead. But there is something about the rosin that is different, even thuogh it is harder to use and more toxic.


I eventually want to do this at home sometime so need to think about how I'm going to do rosin at home. I really don't want it in my house, but figured I could do it in the garage. We have a bellows in our box at school but no one really uses it. It seems to me the perfect box would be one that had the bellows ouside the box with the tip going inside the box so you can close the lid of the box and then use the bellow to get the rosin stirred up enough, then let the rosin settle and check and bellow again if you need too.

alice's arts
03-01-2005, 08:08 AM
hi sunfilly,

I have tried to attach some aquatint etchings. I don't know if it worked; an early state of one, a later state of the same and then a completly different etching - an abstract salad.


a rosin dust-bag seems like the simplest at home method. I have a very little aquatint box like you describe but I have never used it, I am without a studio while mine is being renovated. Print making at home is a whole different ball game than printing at a school or other print shop with fabulous facilities. For me it has changed the way I work. When I do etch I use that salt based copper etch. I've been using the same batch forever, my etch time gets very long - but I haven't wanted to deal with getting more toxic stuff.

Does anyone use water-soluble inks for etching? Do they work? So many things have changed in printmaking since I was in school. Like this waterless lithography or polyester lithography plate... I'd like to try that but need to find a source to buy plates just one at a time. Don't want to make a big investment in case I don't like them.

-Alice