Collodion on Acrylic?

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by MMfoto, Apr 24, 2006.

  1. MMfoto

    MMfoto Member

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    I'm interested in the collodion process and have wondered about using acrylic sheets instead of glass. The material is much lighter, can be clearer, and will not break if dropped/mishandled. It does of course scratch quite easily, but no more so than sheet film. So, I suppose my question should be: will the emulsion take to the acrylic surface? Anyone tried this?
     
  2. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    I wonder if the ether used in collodion would dissolve the acrylic sheets. Have you checked this out?

    PE
     
  3. JG Motamedi

    JG Motamedi Member

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    The ether will not affect the acrylic, so you could probably use it, however I am unsure of the collodion would stick to the acrylic. I use acrylic inside my plate holders, and the collodion seems to peel off quite easily. Worth trying I suppose, but I think the scratching would be a pretty major drawback.
     
  4. htmlguru4242

    htmlguru4242 Member

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    Hmmm - that's an interesting idea, what about doing it on acetate film like regular old sheet film - could it be done on a non-rigid surface?
     
  5. JG Motamedi

    JG Motamedi Member

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    I suspect the collodion would start flaking off as the film is flexed. Sandarac varnish with lavender oil is flexible, but probably not flexible enough.
     
  6. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    When I used to seal model airplanes with nitrate dope (which is very similar to collodion), we used to add a few drops of castor oil to a batch of dope that needed to remain flexible or not shrink as it cured. I expect something similar to this (generically, a "plasticizer") would help a lot if you wanted to try collodion on acetate or other flexible base. However, you'll probably also find you need to sub the base, or use a textured material (like drafting acetate, which is frosted on one side). And I expect acetate would be a bad choice for collodion, since many of the solvents that dissolve cellulose nitrate also dissolve cellulose acetate.

    Oddly, *paper* takes nitrate dope well, so might accept collodion well also...