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Akua Printmaking Inks


Silverpoint | Drawing Ground

"Akua" (pronounced ah-koo-ah), means "honor the land" in Hawaiian.

Akua inks are professional quality, water-based inks created by two printmakers, Susan Rostow and William Jung. Rostow & Jung were motivated to create safe, fume free inks when they decided to bring a baby into their marriage and their New York city live-in studio.

In the mid-nineties Susan and William began looking for a water-based printmaking ink. They discovered that the few water-based inks available dried too quickly and were not of professional quality. At that time there was not a single water-based ink on the market that was specifically made for wiping an intaglio plate or working a monotype plate with a long open time. They recognized that there was a growing demand from artists who wanted to make high quality prints without compromising their health, so they decided to develop their own water-based ink. They ended up creating two lines of ink; Akua Liquid Pigment and Akua Intaglio.

About Akua Liquid Pigment

Akua Liquid PigmentOriginally developed for monotype printmaking, Akua Liquid Pigment can also be used for other techniques, such as Japanese woodcut and painting on paper. By adding drops of these concentrated pigments into Akua Intaglio Transparent Base, you can custom make intaglio or relief inks. No chalk, fillers, dryers, or polymers are added. Colors dry with a luminous finish. The addition of honey gives the brilliant and vibrant appearance.

Akua Liquid Pigment has an exceptionally rich working consistency which “feels right” for both additive and reductive monotype techniques. It’s unique slow drying formula allows many hours to create an image on the monotype plate. Akua Liquid Pigment is rolled directly onto the plate. There is no need to roll-up and transfer the ink using a separate ink slab. Rolling Akua Liquid Pigment directly on the plate will save you money and time because ink is never wasted, and no time is spent cleaning an ink slab. Choose from a wide range of Akua modifiers to adjust sheen, thickness and transparency.

Akua Liquid Pigment can be mixed into Akua Intaglio Inks or Transparent Base to create various new colors for intaglio or relief techniques. Akua Liquid Pigment can also be printed on top or beneath Akua Intaglio inks for multi-plate overlays. Akua Liquid Pigment prints beautifully on dry paper because it stays wet on the plate. The tedious task of soaking, blotting, flattening and drying paper before and after printing is eliminated. It also allows for perfect registration because the paper will not stretch or shrink when it goes through the press. Prints can be made with the use of an etching press, or by hand pressure using a PinPress, baren or spoon.

Clean up is fast and easy with just water and a rag. You will have more time for creativity as you save time on preparation and clean up. You will save money by never having to buy solvents again. Rags can be washed in soap and water and reused.

About Akua Intaglio

Akua Intaglio with plate & rollerAkua Intaglio is a printmaker’s dream come true. Originally formulated for intaglio printmaking, this ink can also be applied with a brayer for relief printmaking, monotype, and collagraphs; and it will print from any plastic, wood, linoleum or metal plate. They contain no driers, offering a long working time for monotype or wiping the plate. Akua Intaglio is a soy based ink made with the same high quality lightfast pigments as Akua Liquid Pigment. It has a thick consistency with minimal water content.

Akua Intaglio ink cleans up easily with a dry rag followed by soap and water. Inexpensive liquid dish detergent can be used. Never use toxic solvents again. Prints can be re-soaked immediately after printing if handled carefully. Once the print is dry, Akua-Intaglio is permanent.

Ink will never skin or harden in the jar or on the ink slab, so no ink is ever wasted. Wiping the plate with Akua Intaglio is easier than wiping oil-based ink. Less wiping pressure and time is required. Wipes nice and clean while the paper picks up the ink efficiently.

Choose to print on dry or damp paper according to what may be best suited for your technique. Plates with greater tonal value, deeply bitten or raised surfaces require dampened paper. It may not be necessary to dampen paper for shallow bitten plates with high contrast images. Monotypes print best on dry smooth paper.

For more information go to akuainks.com>

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