Any Bromoil experts??

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by M Carter, Apr 30, 2013.

  1. M Carter

    M Carter Member

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    Tried inking my first matrix today... of course I have questions!!!

    The ink - got it from Bostick Sullivan, crayon black. Sealed with tape and a layer of wax paper. The stuff is STIFF... I can get a blob out with a palette knife, but barely (just bends the knife).

    I can beat it into submission by kneading with the knife. Is this the stiffness desired? I tried cutting it with a faint drop of linseed oil from my illustration supplies, but had a lot of trouble keeping highlights open.

    Soaking the matrix - after the first inking, when I do subsequent soakings - the slightest touch lifts the ink. I can keep my fingers on the borders, but blotting the print damages inked areas. I've seen videos of people just wiping away. I have to just barely dab. Laying it face-down on blotting paper to dry the back leaves scuffs in the ink. Is this normal?

    I'm not letting the ink dry between inking sessions since I figure that will lock the ink in permanently - and videos I've seen (Goldkind, Gryspeerdt, etc) - they're just dipping and inking continuously.

    Thanks for any thoughts & direction!
     
  2. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    There are quite a few experts on this site for Bromoil. I don’t claim to be one of them, but will add a few points that may be of help. Firstly, there are probably as many ways of doing this process as there are people practicing it. There are also near comparisons to this and the lithographic printing processes and to that end I use lithographic printing ink (works well).

    With regards to soaking, the temperature of the water is very important, as it controls the swelling of the emulsion. Try about 21 to 24°F and if the ink is lifting too easily, are your previous processes working ok. What is your formulation for bleach/tanning? Single or multiple baths? Don’t use blotting paper, just let it dry naturally.
     
  3. M Carter

    M Carter Member

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    Thanks cliveh - and yes, that's the first thing you learn studying Bromoil, there ain't just one way...

    Regarding blotting paper - when the paper feels dry (or corners start to curl) during inking, it's placed back in the water tray, re-soaked, and must be blotted off before inking some more. That's where I'm finding ink lifts off, even when gently laid on blotting paper I get streaks.
     
  4. gandolfi

    gandolfi Member

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    I normally use liquid emulsion as matrix and that is another kettle of fish, BUT I wouldn't soften your ink too much... the harder the oil, the higher the contrast..

    No problem in letting the paper dry... only a tiny bit of the oil will dry - as it is based on oil, it takes weeks to dry completly...

    What paper are you using? (Some papers are more than difficult to use..)
     
  5. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    Instead of resoaking and blotting, just try using a damp sponge and then re-apply the ink. Repeat and repeat as you think necessary.
     
  6. M Carter

    M Carter Member

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    Hi Gandolfi - your web site was a big influence for me to try this, and I can't express my appreciation for the amount of info you've posted around the web on this process. (And I really want to try Foma on canvas with Bromoil...)

    Paper is Fomabron Variant 4; sold by FreeStyle as a Bromoil paper - seems to be working. Bleached with the bostick-sullivan bleaching kit, it went just as described. Since I'm doing 8x10's, I "super-dried" in a warm oven for a few minutes. Don't know know necessary that is.

    I'll try the damp sponge - all of the rock stars of this process return it to a water tray, that's what I tried. But it seems water on the emulsion side is really what it needs.

    Overall, this reminds me of when I made my concrete countertops - you can read and read and read about troweling concrete, but nothing describes what the "feel" of it is. On this first print I found myself going "ahhh, that's the deal"... feeling the ink get moved around, especially with the fine sponges Gandolfi recommends. You can really feel the ink getting lifted.

    So to clarify - ink that is as stiff as I described is in the ballpark for stiffness? That stuff is STIFF.
     
  7. ronlamarsh

    ronlamarsh Member

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    Try joining the Bromoilista group here on this website
     
  8. MannyJay

    MannyJay Member

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    Try about 21 to 24°F ! Huh?
     
  9. jamiezjohnson

    jamiezjohnson Member

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    Can you help me? When bleaching my photo for the set 10 minutes-there is still quite a bit of dark photo still on it--should I double bleach it? Why isnt it turning into a matrix after 10 minutes?
     
  10. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    Don't worry about that, as the matrix will still be there.
     
  11. joshua029

    joshua029 Member

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    I've been doing Bromoils for over the past year and love 'em! Glad there are others interested in it!


    Some answers: yes, a stiff ink is very desired at first in this process. Stiff ink is taken better for the darker tones in your matrix. You can keep the stiffness of the ink to give a look similar to a regular silver gelatin print. You can soften the ink after your darks are inked to give your image a more etching / grainy look.


    Super drying isn't necessary, I've done many without it, but going from the heat to a cooler water temp shocks the gelatin more and allows for easier expansion.

    How are you inking? This is actually a lot harder to correctly do than you'd think!

    What is your water temp? 70 F is a great place to start, about 75 for easier inking with softer inks. Always soak your matrix when your corners start to curl! What are you using to remove water off of the matrix?