Cyanotypes on wood not working

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by shani, Jun 11, 2014.

  1. shani

    shani Member

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    Hi all,

    I need some suggestions.

    I am trying to get a decent cyanotype on wood, pine specifically. My first attempt was on wood with no size which just stained the wood a bit blue but didn't capture any image. I then sized with gelatine and 5%Chrome Alum hardener and got an image which stayed on the wood but was quite faint. I then tried coating the wood with shellac, curing and then coating with the cyanotype emulsion and exposed. Strong image appeared but washed off completely when I tried to develop in water. I also tried another layer of Gelatine with 10% hardener and this also just washed away.

    Not sure what to try next. Someone suggested epoxy or polyurethane prior to cyanotype emulsion. Has anyone tried either of these and have they had any success? Another option, might be to mix the emulsion into the gelatine mix.

    Any other suggestions, especially if tried and successful, would be really appreciated.

    Thanks

    Shani
     
  2. Simon Howers

    Simon Howers Subscriber

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    Hi Shani,
    wood is very porous and will definitely need coating.
    Standard gelatine size is really for material like paper and probably not up to this job.
    Have you tried PVA glue (the builders type - in 5 litre cans) which is aimed at sizing wood and plaster so it can be painted.
    I dries transparent and is quite 'sticky' so should bond well with the cyanotype emulsion.

    Good luck

    Simon
     
  3. shani

    shani Member

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    Hi Simon,

    Thanks for responding. I will definitely give it a go. Sounds promising.
     
  4. MrBrowning

    MrBrowning Subscriber

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    When I was playing with liquid emulsions last year I had issues with the stuff washing off too. what i did was use "glossy polyurethane varnish (not satin or matte)". I found it on the Liquid light instruction sheet and it seems to have solved the problem. I've used it on wood, glass and the cheap artist canvas that A C Moore sells. I picked mine up at a hardware store in a spray can for $5 or $6. Maybe this will work for you also. I know there may be a difference between the LL and cyanotype adhesion but it's worth a shot.

    Also i found that applying a quick light coat and waiting until it was tacky (about and hour) then applying another coat and letting dry for 24 hours worked best for me.

    Hope you figure something out.

    Matt
     
  5. shani

    shani Member

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    Hi Matt,

    I just tried a polyurethane matt varnish and applied 4 coats and then 2 coats of cyanotype emulsion but it still mostly washed off. Is the varnish you use water based or oil based? I will try the gloss next as I think I read somewhere that the matt and semi glass has some type of wax in it.

    So far, I am still getting the best results from just gelatine with chrome Alum but this wasn't ideal, too faint but at least there was an image. Would it work to put a gelatine coat over the polyurethane? Also, wondering if it would work better to put the cyanotype emulsion in the gelatine over the polyurethane. Too many possibilities and all time consuming. And I was only working with a 1% chrome Alum mix should this be higher? Has anyone tried any of these and had success?


    Shani
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 25, 2014
  6. MrBrowning

    MrBrowning Subscriber

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    As I said you need glossy. I forgot in my first post it needs to be oil based. Again I was using Liquid Light but I had similar problems.

    I don't think you need 4 coats of the poly. Apply your first coat and wait 1 hour. Apply your second coat and allow to dry for 24 hours. A note on the coating, you are better off to do several light coats rather than 1 or 2 heavy coats. I found if i over applied the poly i had problems. YMMV.

    Good luck.
     
  7. shani

    shani Member

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    Well the glossy didn't work either. I think I will go back to the gel as I have had the best results with this so far. Might try mixing the cyanotype formula with the gelatine mix and then letting dry. Maybe this will stop the cyanotype from sinking in.