Users Instructions ImagOn Ultra photopolymer films

23. Acrylic Soft-Ground

There are many ways to work a soft ground and there are several grounds that will stay soft for a short period of time.

  1. Prepare the plate as for an etched intaglio-type
  2. Degrease the plate.
  3. Prepare the press pressure by making it 5 to 10 lbs lighter then you will for an inked plate.
  4. Have your Soft-Ground materials ready, like cheesecloth or aluminum foil. As well as discarded peel-back plastic from ImagOn film to put over the ground to protect the bed.
  5. Roll a thin layer of Graphic Chemical 1659 water-based relief ink over the surface of the plate. This must be a thin layer. Thick ink will not work very well.
  6. Place plate on a sheet of newsprint on the bed of the press. Place Soft-Groundmaterial on top of plate. Place ImagOn peel-back layer (Glad-Wrap sprayed with spray cooking oil can substitute) on top of the Soft-Ground material. Then roll through the etching press.
  7. Carefully remove peel-back layer and Soft-Ground material from the plate. Inspect plate, see if you can see the copper in areas reflect the textured Soft-Ground materials on top of the plate.
  8. Heat dry the plate in a drying cabinet.
  9. When it is dry back the plate with plastic packing tape and etch in the ferric or Edinburgh etch mordant. Do not use the tank aerator. It is important to only etch the plate once without pulling it out of the mordent to inspect. Generally a good etching time would be 1 hour. Shorter times reflect light tones in the finished prints where longer times reflect darker tones.