A jar of white Akua intaglio ink sitting on a brown table.

When Lisa and I took our relief printing workshop with Maria Doering in November, we printed with Akua intaglio inks. They have many advantages, including easy clean-up with water and dish soap, dying by absorbion (they won’t dry on the plate or the roller), and they’re water-based and don’t contain harsh chemicals. They also have a lovely easy-to-work consistency when you open the jar, with the consistency of maple syrup.

For our January box, a reduction print of birch trees, the first layer was to be white. When we opened the bottle of white Akua ink we’d ordered online, we found it quite different: it was the consistency of peanut butter. When we went to use it, we found it almost unusable: it wouldn’t roll out well, and when we did get it to roll out, it went on the plate almost dry.

Maria came to the rescue via an email consult, advising us that we could add Akua blending medium to the ink to free it up. After some experimenting, this turned out to work very well, and we got various satisfying coverage on the white layer:

The lino block on the printing press, covered in white ink; below is the printed cardboard box with the white layer.Brown cardboard boxes printed with white ink, set out to dry on a table,
Submitted by Peter Rukavina on