i got this 5lb jug of Rosin with a new/old press

it seems this is kind of expensive stuff. i am reading that it used for etching a half tone plate? Namely blocking out the acid effects? This is new territory for me. it is “Rock” or “Chunk” form at the moment.

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Old school material, do not think you would ever use it. I think it should be in a powder form, but maybe so old it has blocked. An artist using etching plates maybe could use it. Not sure if it could be brought to the correct liquid viscosity to brush onto an etching plate. Then the artist will scratch with a metal stylist to remove the rosin and then place the plate into a bath of acid.

Not quite sure if the original post was a statement or a question,? . . But in any case back to apprenticeship days `54 - `60 Printing Dept of Local Art School (Brighton, U.K.) very very *Tatty* note book says that Rosin was used (probably present tense, back THEN) in some printing process,s!!

But in fairly recent times, well quoted as being an Adhesion/Traction agent in powder form, on Smaller Press,s to keep the Trucks from slipping on the Rails.!!

Also still used by Violinists, on the Bows of violins for the same reason, basically.

Check out the Charlie Daniels Band in *The Devil Went Down to Georgia* = a few seconds in when the Devil challenges *Johnny* to a Duel and *Johnny* Rosins Up his bow.

Probably also corroborated, (somewhere?) by Your Own,
Stephanie Trick, on the Violin, of course.

Now that would be something special, perhaps, i.e. *Stephanie Trick* facing off *Jerry Lee Lewis* pumping out Boogie Woogie.

1 way of etching = a metal degreased plate with fine aquatint resin dusted on it either by hand or in a special aquatint box, this is gently fused to the plate to keep it as a fine texture, which is increasingly “stopped out’ by special varnish in a reduction method and increasingly longer times in acid to create more intense tones. Lumpy resin has to be ground down…beware of creating static that can set off explosive dust- air mixes, and should not breathed or allowed to remain on skin. another use is in combination with rolling and deepening as many older lithographers might remember, and as for helping to process autographic litho plates and stones.

You have “Lump Rosin”. It is ground up carefully in a mortar and pestle (or in this day and age, in a coffee grinder).
The powder is then used as described above already- as a fine, evenly dispersed set of ‘dots’ that are distributed on the plate, which cover 50-80% of the plate surface.
If done correctly it yields one of the most tonal methods of printing from a single pass of ink application, with dense/rich blacks and lots of saturations of ink in between. I suggest you look up Crown Point Press Aquatint on youtube to see an in depth explanation.

i read that it does need to be broken down to a powder. Then dispersed onto a plate through a cloth. It is then adhered to the plate by heating gently to liquefy. scratching through the rosin then exposes metal to the acid, which can be done in stages to produce these darker areas.
The process seems to produce a lithographic type plate rather than a Foil or letterpress plate. after further reading, it looks to be quite a process. Having a significant amount of “Acid” around just for the fun of it, doesn’t seem the direction i want to explore. .

No, you do not scratch through the acid. Here is a short video:


The ‘Dust’ acts almost like a halftone screen, blocking acid from biting the plate and creating these sort of… Canyon-like etched areas of the plate. The dots of dust create raised, polished areas that let go of the ink- these are preserved by ‘stopping out’, or painting asphaltum (another liquid acid resist) onto the plate. You add your first stop out for white, before etching at all- and then you apply “stages” of biting the plate in the acid. First stage is short; then you dry the plate, add some stopout to preserve the first stage, and then bite the plate in the acid a bit longer for stage two, a darker gray; pull out of acid, dry off, add more stopout, repeat- but as the acid bites deeper and deeper, through stages of etching, you get medium grays and dense blacks.

There usually isn’t any scratching involved with this process, you are thinking of maybe hard ground or asphaltum grounds.

Also to be clear I have practiced this technique laboriously many times, but I am no expert. I do have a large aquatint box and the right mordants and an etching press, we do a little of it here from time to time when an artist asks. It is a beautiful process.

I think your lump rosin might come in handy if you ever have a belt slipping you need to add some grip to- you could grind it up and apply the powder to the belt to keep it running with good grip.

. double post