Originally formulated for intaglio printmaking, this ink can also be applied with a brayer for single color relief printmaking, monotype, and collagraphs; and it will print from any plastic, wood, linoleum or metal plate. It is not recommended for reduction prints or relief prints that require overprinting because the amount of ink that is usually required will prevent the ink from drying. NOTE: Use an absorbent paper like Arches 88 for relief prints, since the ink does not contain dryers (see more about paper choices below).
Akua Intaglio is made using pure mineral water in a thick soy base, and is strongly pigmented with the same light fast pigments used in Akua Liquid Pigment inks. It is water fast after it dries on the paper, but will counter-proof well while fresh. Akua Liquid Pigment will tint the Akua Intaglio Inks and Transparent Base without affecting its consistency.
Akua Intaglio is much tackier and stiffer than Akua Liquid Pigment and needs no modification to be rolled out with a brayer. As with oil based inks, better coverage and richer colors will result when this ink is printed using a press.
Akua Intaglio prints beautifully on many dry papers, eliminating the possibility of paper shrinkage and making it ideal for printing multi-registered plates or combining prints with digital inkjet or letterpress images. It works just as well on dampened paper.
Akua Intaglio will never skin over or harden in the jar.
When used on intaglio plates, Akua Intaglio wipes off cleanly, while plenty of ink remains in the grooves, resulting in sharp, high-contrast prints. Tarlatans can be washed and used again and again, or use inexpensive cheesecloth instead; it works just as well if not better than tarlatan.
If you are using this ink for relief printmaking, keep in mind that it does not contain dryers. Instead of drying by evaporation, as linseed oil-based inks do, Akua Intaglio dries by absorption down into the paper. Drying times will vary depending on the amount of ink used and the absorbency of the paper. Think in terms of several light coats of ink instead of one heavy coat when inking up the block or plate. Adding Akua Mag Mix or magnesium carbonate to the ink can help it to dry. Use thick, unsized, absorbent papers like Arches 88. Other papers recommended by Susan Rostow, the developer of Akua inks, are Hahnemuhle Copperplate for all types of intaglio plates, and Revere Monotype paper for monotype with a press.
Avoid using thin, lightweight papers like Mulberry or Kitakata. Not only can drying times be long, in some cases the ink never dries or excess soy oil can leach out into the paper causing halos around the printed areas. Hard, glossy or coated papers are not recommended. If you decide to use a paper other than the ones listed above, it is a good idea to do a few test prints to make sure the ink will not bleed and will dry completely before printing an edition. If you do experience a problem with drying time, try placing newsprint over the print and running it through a press to remove the excess surface ink.
Like Akua Liquid Pigment, non-toxic Akua Intaglio cleans up easily with soap and water. There is no need for expensive ventilation systems, fireproof containers, or toxic solvents. While the ink can be used on acid etched copper intaglio plates, for completely safe and non-toxic intaglio printing, try using it with Solarplates or Resintaglio plates.
Akua Intaglio is non-toxic and a labeled, approved product conforming to ASTMD-4236.