As an artist I expect that all new safer etching grounds should be just as good or better as the old traditional more toxic grounds. There is no good reason to except inferior results at the expense of safety. The old renaissance materials can be replaced with better and safer modern ingredients.
During the summer of 2011 May-September I have done extensive testing and formulation of new etching and stop out grounds. The reason being that Graphic Chemical and Ink has reintroduced their new version of water-based relief print ink. The product is slightly different from the old product and some of the ingredients that people have been using to plasticize and disperse don’t work to my satisfaction and can be improved. I was also dissatisfied with the acrylic floor polish hard ground and have come up with a new acrylic floor polish ground that is more sensitive and has better drawing qualities. Aquatinting and soft ground seem to be the most difficult process to come up with reliable results. I have developed a process that involves offsetting of textures to replace the spraying of acrylic emulsions and the pressing of directly into a ground. The process is safer and more predictable. Also, I have come up with a stop out that is thicker and covers up marks with one application.
The following are new etching grounds that will be discussed in depth: