Tuesday, August 3, 2010

How to mix a Copper Sulphate for a Zinc Plate Aquatint Etch

Welcome to my blog on printmaking and arts business.

I have been experimenting with copper sulphate etch for some time now etching zinc and aluminium in the same bath and I have had some very pleasing results.

I am currently working on a custom plate for artist Tate Adams and require some further testing before I mix up a large copper sulphate bath for etching aquatints.

It is possible due to the way the copper sulphate and zinc react to create an aquatint tone without using a rosin. To get the desired result, testing is necessary.

A fresh solution creates the best results so I will be mixing up two small solution baths to test for the best results.

How to mix a copper sulphate for a zinc plate aquatint etch.


  1. Fine line, course aquatint, soft ground: 50 grams of copper sulphate to 1 litre of water (comparable to a nitric acid solution of 7-8%)
  2. Fine aquatint: 25 grams of copper sulphate to 1 litre of water (comparable to a nitric acid solution of 4-5%)
The stronger the solution the faster it etches.

The addition of Sodium Bisulfate is necessary when etching zinc and aluminium in the same solution.

Happy printmaking,
Warmly,
Jo Lankester 

P.S How to turn your printmaking hobby into a profitable business www.howtogetstartedinprintmaking.com


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