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Old 01-08-2008, 07:22 PM
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slightly72 slightly72 is offline
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Question Speeding up drying time for Akua Intaglio

I have a pretty big problem with a print for an exchange (the deadline is quite soon). Early last december, I've printed part of it with Akua Intaglio carbon black and the ink is still not dry -- it's coming off on my finger when touching the printed areas. I've put a very thin layer of ink on the block (it's relief). Is there any way I could speed up the drying time for this? Hopefully something that does not involve buying any more Akua products

In any case, I don't think I'll be using Akua products anymore -- I like them well enough for printing, but the drying time is a huge problem, it's been almost a month since printing.

Tibi
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Old 01-08-2008, 08:14 PM
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Diane Cutter Diane Cutter is offline
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Re: Speeding up drying time for Akua Intaglio

Tibi... I hear you on the drying times. As many here know, I've been a big Akua advocate but for a recent Baren exchange I was held up dreadfully with prints that just didn't dry.

I had used yellow, red, and blue on a very thin paper. I finally had to put them on top of my lightbox for a week or so and then shipped them out with glassine between them because I could still get color on my fingers.

I'm in a very humid climate and I printed each color without drying between inkings. It sounds like we need to contact the Akua people to find out how to avoid this kind of thing.

Diane
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Old 01-08-2008, 08:24 PM
Barbara Art Barbara Art is offline
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Re: Speeding up drying time for Akua Intaglio

There must be some modifiers for Akua inks. For oil-based, I use TINY amounts of cobalt drier, as I had the same problem with DS inks.
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Old 01-08-2008, 08:43 PM
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slightly72 slightly72 is offline
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Re: Speeding up drying time for Akua Intaglio

Thanks. Unfortunatelly, cannot use the modifiers now that I've printed, but will keep that in mind for the future. I don't live in a humid climate (Pittsburgh, PA), so am mistified about this whole thing -- the other layer of ink was Caligo Relief mixed with transparent etching base, printed them yesterday and it's already dry. I might try placing them near a source of heat, maybe that would help.

Tibi
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Old 01-08-2008, 11:57 PM
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Wandering Blues Wandering Blues is offline
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Re: Speeding up drying time for Akua Intaglio

Finally! A good reason to live in California! Akua takes maybe 5-8 hours to be dry through and through in this climate of 15% humidity. Unfortunately, with a Speedball waterbased, I can't even pull 2 prints without it drying completely on the glass.

Just thinking out loud, but what if you created a drying rack that could fit in one of those tupperware storage containers (like for xmas ornaments). Drop in some of those silica bags they use to take out moisture in a variety of products to lower your humidity level and seal it up. That might work.
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Old 01-09-2008, 01:10 AM
Heft Heft is offline
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Re: Speeding up drying time for Akua Intaglio

I've had the same concerns. This is from the Akua site:

Ink Drying Times
Akua Intaglio ink does not contain dryers. How long the prints take to dry will depend on the type of paper used and how thick the ink was applied. Glossy or coated papers are not reliable. These Inks dry by absorption unlike traditional oil based inks which dry by evaporation. Typically a shallow bitten plate will take 24 hours to dry. Deeply bitten plates may take 2 weeks or longer. If time is an issue, the prints will dry faster between blotters.

Drying Between Blotters
Blotters are heavy absorbent papers. Newsprint paper can be used as an inexpensive alternative.

* Face print up on a blotter
* Add another blotter on top
* Place a board on top for weight.

Adding Cobalt Dryers
It is not necessary to add dryers to Akua Intaglio ink. However, in the case of very deeply bitten plates which require a larger amount of ink, cobalt dryers that printmaking suppliers sell for oil based inks do work with Akua Intaglio. If you choose to add cobalt dryers, please follow safety instructions from your supplier.

* Add a maximum of 0.5% to 1% cobalt dryer to the ink (almost nothing).
* Prepare just the amount of ink you need within the next 30-60 minutes.

IMPORTANT NOTES: The cobalt dryer starts to activate immediately after adding it to the ink. Never mix cobalt dryer into to the jar. Never put ink with dryer back in the jar! Stir the ink regularly during when printing.
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Old 01-09-2008, 08:57 AM
Leigh Leigh is offline
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Re: Speeding up drying time for Akua Intaglio

Hmmm. I'm keeping an eye on this thread. I was just planning my purchase of the Akua Intaglio ink. Perhaps I'll wait.

Diane, I know you are an advocate of Akua and I like the environmental aspects, clean up and lack of odor but my attempts at the mono Akua inks (even with your suggestions) have been less than satisfying for me. (As any art junkie knows, it is certainly not the user at fault but the equipment and buying another art supply will certainly solve all the problems in the world)

A month to dry??? Youch! I don't have enough drying space to allow for that! Tibi, please post when they dry and what you did to get it done.
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Old 01-09-2008, 09:21 AM
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Re: Speeding up drying time for Akua Intaglio

Heft, thanks for the tips. After printing and letting the paper dry for a couple of days, I've put the prints between sheets of newsprint (did not have enough blotter paper), but did not have any heavy stuff on top -- maybe that would have helped. I'll try it again with something heavier on top. The paper I've printed on is Folio White, which is not glossy, and it does not seem coated with glue (feels quite fluffy after being soaked in water).

An added problem is that I'd like to straighten out the prints in the end, which I'm doing by moistening the back of the print and placing it between sheets of cardboard/blotter paper to dry up and flatten the print at the same time. But with these colors I'm a bit afraid to do this.

I'd say, judging by the advice from Akua, I should've expected a long drying time, since the worst case scenario that they can think of is "deeply bitten plate" which certainly has way less ink than a relief print, no matter how thin the application of ink was. However, these inks are marketed as both intaglio and relief inks....

Tibi
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Old 01-09-2008, 09:46 AM
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Re: Speeding up drying time for Akua Intaglio

Tibi-

An artist friend of mine puts his prints in his car, parked in the sun... I know this is a bit of an issue in PA this time of year (WHAT SUN?), but worth a shot!! It even works in the north- it's like a greenhouse...

Being in Florida, people think that I have an advantage when it comes to drying time, but like diane I deal with TERRIBLE humidity... It can take forever for ink to dry!
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Old 01-11-2008, 10:05 AM
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Re: Speeding up drying time for Akua Intaglio

Just another thought: because Akua inks dry by absorption if you are using paper with sizing consider soaking the paper awhile to remove some of the sizing.
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Old 01-11-2008, 03:49 PM
cinnamonteal cinnamonteal is offline
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Re: Speeding up drying time for Akua Intaglio

I've never tried it with this particular type of ink, but with other inks I have used, you can dust the print with a little bit of cornstarch to absorb some of the moisture and speed the drying time. It might be worth a try on a test print. Just use a soft bristled brush to remove it once your done.
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Old 01-11-2008, 05:05 PM
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Re: Speeding up drying time for Akua Intaglio

Off-set printers dust coated papers with a drying agent after they have been printed. You might try your local newspaper or print shop and see if they would spare you some for an experiment or sell you some on a regular basis.
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Old 01-11-2008, 05:59 PM
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Inky Fingers Inky Fingers is offline
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Re: Speeding up drying time for Akua Intaglio

I must say I'm a little mystified with this thread. It is my understanding that oil based inks do not dry, but instead "cure" or "polymerize. As I understand it, it is a chemical reaction with oxygen that makes it harden. Here is what Kurt Wisneski says in his book "Monotype/Monoprint":

"Oil-based ink and oil paint contain a derivative of linseed oil. It is a complex vegetable oil that in drying... absorbs oxygen and chemically changes their molecular structure irreversibly. The permanence of the curing process becomes evident when attempting to break down an ink that has dried, or the surface of a can of ink that has skinned."

So it would seem to me as though no amount of heat or humidy would effect the "drying" time of an ink to any significant degree, except perhaps to speed up this chemical reaction, but I tend to doubt it. Now I believe that Akua inks are soy based and have been "fractioned" so that they won't repell water, but it is my understanding that soy and linseed oil react/dry the same way.

In Ralph Mayer's book "The Artist's Handbook of Materials and Techniques" he says that metallic driers, like cobalt driers, work by making the ink more reactive to oxygen.

I'm certainly no expert here, but I'm wondering if it might be just a waste of time to try to get an ink to dry by using heat or air circulation.

That's my 2 cents anyway,
Ken
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Old 01-11-2008, 11:54 PM
Desmene Desmene is offline
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Re: Speeding up drying time for Akua Intaglio

I believe that Akua inks are supposed to be printed on dry paper... I just finished a monotype workshop with Ron Pokrasso and using any kind of water is definitely not the way to go. If you're soaking the paper in any way, or adding water later to uncurl papers, I think that may be contributing to the drying problem. all the best, desmene
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Old 01-12-2008, 08:28 AM
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Diane Cutter Diane Cutter is offline
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Re: Speeding up drying time for Akua Intaglio

Hi, Desmene, and welcome to the Printmaking forum. Lucky you with a Pokrasso workshop.

I am aware of needing to use dry papers with the Akuas. Normally I print dry with all inks and use Arches 88 with Akuas but, in this case, I used an extremely lightweight Japanese rice paper. Because I was using 3 colors and no in-between drying time, the paper seemed to absorb and then be super saturated with color, really limp with color.

Again, though printing dry, I live in a super humid climate (today is pretty typical and its 81% humidity) with no air conditioning to offset the studio humidity.

I guess I'm trying to say, in a long-winded way, that I print dry but my environment makes it seem like the paper is damp-ish. For that I need my lightbox and I often have to 'dry' my papers on it before I print. Here's my husband-made lightbox... Not your ordinary catalog lightbox. I use different wattage depending on dampness.



Diane
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