Hardening Bromoil ink
I'm about to embark on some Bromoil printing, I got some litho ink 1796 which seem a little soft, but I have read where you can use beeswax or Magnesium salts (Epson) to harden the ink. Before I go all gunhoe and just try it does anybody have some experience in harden a soft litho ink.
I have learned my Bromoil process from Gandolfi and uses magnesium carbonate as hardener.
Here is where I bought mine:
Epsom salts are magnesium sulfate (I still get annoyed that IUPAC changed the spelling of sulphur to "sulfur") as opposed to the carbonate.
Thanks, i did read magnesium carbonate most places, but Michael Spedding refer to Epson Salt, -"and inked up using graphic black litho ink 1796 which had been stiffened with oil pastel or crushed magnesium sulphate (epsom salts). i'[ll have a play a see what happens
It's probably the magnesium itself which does the work. Good luck. :)
I'd bet that the magnesium carbonate is just a bulking agent....talc would probably work too. I'd be less confident in epsom salts....they dissolve once water hits them and that might affect how they work. Seems like most any insoluable powder would work.
I am not a bromoilist, though I've done a lot of printmaking... take anything I say with appropriate caution.
In etching, ink is made stiffer with French chalk (talc), but sparingly. The tack of the ink is not necessarily the same as the hardnes or softness. This site sells ink conditioners, but the text on their talc page made no sense to me. Perhaps it will to a bromoil printer.
Derek Watkins suggests candle wax (obviously uncoloured) or powdered aquatint resin, both needs to be melted. Other mediums include the aforementioned chalk/talc and powdered household starch. As an aside, the candle wax makes the ink a bit glossier.
You can tailor the matrix to be of higher relief (warmer water temperature), but maybe stiffening the ink (or buying a can of 1803 instead) is a better idea.
I found litho ink to work fine. Why do you need to harden it?
Originally Posted by SMBooth
my 2 cents:
the oils I have worked are all far too soft for using without hardening. That's why I use it.
I buy the magnesium carbonate in the same store where I buy the ink, but I have also in the past tried something ammonium - something (the actual name eludes me).
As I have never tried the aforementioned suggestions, I'll stick (pun intended) to the magnesium....
Clive: one reason to use hardener is, that it can be a means to highten/lower the contrast in the final bromoil..
(the stiffer ink, the higher contrast..)