fabrico artistico clearing woes

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by rbergeman, Nov 1, 2010.

  1. rbergeman

    rbergeman Subscriber

    Messages:
    183
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2007
    Location:
    corvallis, o
    Shooter:
    Pinhole
    have any of you pt/pd printers had any trouble clearing with recent batches of fabrico artistico bw paper? the last batch i got seems stubbornly resistant to clearing, and any advice or insights would be appreciated ..... i've used this paper for a couple of years now and like it, and this is the first time i've had this issue --the paper is pre-soaked in oxallic acid as usual, and i even gave it another bath to see if maybe it was insufficient the first time, but that's not the cure ..... it will almost clear out if i nearly triple the clearing time (i use hypo clear), so i'm thinking stronger clearing bath may be needed -- any recommendations?

    rich
     
  2. PVia

    PVia Member

    Messages:
    813
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Location:
    Pasadena, CA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Have you tried citric acid as the first clearing bath?

    I do, and follow up with 2 HCA baths for this paper.
     
  3. rbergeman

    rbergeman Subscriber

    Messages:
    183
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2007
    Location:
    corvallis, o
    Shooter:
    Pinhole
    thanks -- i'll give it a try
     
  4. clay

    clay Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,125
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2002
    Location:
    Asheville, N
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Check your developer pH. If it is slightly basic (over pH 7), it will be very difficult to get clear prints. You can acidify the developer slightly my adding small amounts of the appropriate acid (oxalic acid in the case of potassium oxalate) to the developer until it gets down to 6 or slightly lower. That will go a long way to helping you get clear prints. And skip any water bath right after the developer. Just go straight into citric acid or HCA.
     
  5. dwross

    dwross Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,004
    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2004
    Location:
    Oregon Coast
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Rich,

    I don't print pt/pd, so I can't speak to the tricks of your trade, but I have used several hundred sheets and many different batches of Fabriano Artistico over the years. It has always been my favorite paper for my process, which is gelatin-based. The dried emulsion went down perfectly, and dried to the paper like it had been super-glued on. As an experiment once, I left a coated and dried sheet in a tray of water for three days. It still looked perfect. I considered FabArt my foolproof go-to paper. Until the last batch I ordered. Huge failure. The emulsion looked great until it hit the processing baths and then it formed a network of bubbles and blisters. Nothing I can think to do entirely fixes the problem, so I've changed my 'go-to' paper to Arches.

    If whatever caused my blistering (and I'm guessing a change to the sizing recipe) is also affecting your clearing, conventional pt/pd wisdom might very well not do the trick. Best of luck to you. I've seen your prints on FabArt, and they are stunning.

    d
     
  6. PVia

    PVia Member

    Messages:
    813
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Location:
    Pasadena, CA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    My last batch ordered earlier this year needed extensive acidifying compared to previous batches...FYI.
     
  7. rbergeman

    rbergeman Subscriber

    Messages:
    183
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2007
    Location:
    corvallis, o
    Shooter:
    Pinhole
    clay, thanks for the tip about developer ph .... i did think of that and used a freshly mixed pot.ox. to do the clearing test with f.a. and other papers, and the developer wasn't the problem ...... i am awaiting arrival of some citric acid to try out PVia's suggestion, which i hope is the answer -- from what he and denise say, perhaps the recent f.a. currently in circulation (i bought mine earlier this year, too) has a different sizing .... denise -- sorry to hear of your woes with f.a. -- until your remarks, i was thinking that if i couldn't get it to clear i would give the rest of my batch to you, hoping it would work for your esoteric processes !!! guest that's not an option anymore -- but you definitely deserve some payback for that big batch of old crane's platinotype you handed off to me earlier this year -- it prints up great, just like it used to before the black spot plague of two or three years ago that forced me to go hunting for an alternative paper ..... it doesn't have the dmax of f.a., but i really like the ease with which it coats and its bright white, hard surface --- thanks a lot for 'dumping' it on me!!

    rich
     
  8. Dan Dozer

    Dan Dozer Subscriber

    Messages:
    351
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2004
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    I was having the same problem. I talked with Bostic and Sullivan and they recommended Sodium Metabisulfite in the clearing bath. I haven't had a chance to try it out yet. They were very helpful - you might give them a call and ask them.
     
  9. clay

    clay Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,125
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2002
    Location:
    Asheville, N
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    That's a good suggestion - It will drop the pH down since it is acidic. Be sure and dissolve it in water first rather than try to add it later. It is very hard to get into solution if you add it to already mixed sodium sulfite and/or hypoclear.