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Recipe for white (soap) ground. 1 volume of linseed oil 2 volumes of titanium white dry pigment 4 volumes of Ivory Snow (pure soap granules/flakes) 2 volumes of water The soap granules and the white pigment are first mixed in the dry state. The linseed oil is gradually added little by little into the mixture. Nest add the water until a soft paste is formed. The paste should be stored in a covered jar so the water will not evaporate. A light tendency of the oil to separate from the mixture is remedied by stirring before each use. During use this basic mixture is varied in consistency by thinning with water. procedure 1. Degrease the copper plate. 2.Aquatint pr spray the plate with paint. 3. Put some white ground onto a lid or small plate. Have some water and a variety of brushes handy. Mix white ground so it is a creamy consistency and paint it freely on your plate. Thinner white ground will produce darker grays, thicker amounts with produce lighter grays 4. You can build layers of white ground, drying each layer before proceeding to the next. You may remove the ground with a rag or thin it with a spray water bottle at any point. 5. If you want a black line, take the edge of a piece of cardboard or the end of a paintbrush a draw through the ground. 6. If possible let the plate sit overnight. Otherwise, some of the ground may lift off when you bite it. 7. Bite the plate to black (for at least 40 minutes in ferric chloride). 8. Clean brushes. Clean ground off plate after biting and before Cloud Stop out I think I might have finally come up with a really good white ground recipe. This one evolved from trying a mixture of equal parts petroleum jelly and dry titanium white pigment, for a permeable ground that would not dry but stay greasy and easily reworkable after being applied. Mixing equal parts petroleum jelly and titanium white pigment makes a wonderful soft edged, permeable white ground except for one thing. The Vaseline (petroleum jelly) has a thin oil in it that seeps out and "halos" like crazy if it is allowed to sit for any amount of time. This isn't a problem if you're doing something with feathered edges, and etching in one step soon after applying the ground to the plate. However if you're doing step-biting and spreading it out over several days, the "halo" or "bloom" turns into a resist (hard to see) which blocks further etching so after doing your step-biting you discover that you only etched the lighter tones and there aren't any darks. Bad. So I added the soap to kill the "grease slick", and it seems to work much like before the soap, only now you can thin it with water. It dries to a fairly soft greasy consistency, but you do need to allow it to air-dry before etching. This means leaving it exposed to the air for 15 minutes or a half hour, or less time with a fan or compressed air. Avoid warming it, since this tends to make the oil seep out of it. Like all greasy/soapy grounds, you can thin it with water and it will wash off under running water until it's been in the acid/ferric chloride, which "fixes" it so that a plate coming out of the acid can be rinsed under water without washing the ground off. You do need to be careful when rinsing and/or drying with compressed air, especially if it has been in the acid less than a minute or two since it can be very easy to dislodge.