First serious fiber printing session

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by mrtoml, Apr 5, 2008.

  1. mrtoml

    mrtoml Member

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    I just finished my first serious fiber printing session this afternoon after my print washer and print dryer arrived yesterday. I am quite pleased with the results. Definitely an improvement in quality over the RC when you get it right.

    A few hiccups on the way though. First the plumbing on my washer didn't fit on any of the taps in the house, but I made a hose of something else fit and it worked fine. I also needed to tweak the dryer settings and times a little, but now I have perfectly flat prints. The first experiment I did with FB a few weeks ago using trays for washing and hanging up the prints to dry on a line ended up with prints that looked like scrolls.

    Just wanted to say a big thank you to all the people on this forum who helped me with my questions during this learning process.

    Going to sepia tone the prints tomorrow. Is there anything I should know? I have successfully toned RC prints, but this will be my first serious attempt at toning FB.

    Cheers.
     
  2. jeroldharter

    jeroldharter Member

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    Sepia toning smells bad because of hydrogen sulfide gas released during toning. You should have good (excellent) ventilation. some people do it in the garage. For sepia toning, you need a somewhat denser print to begin with because the toning reduces density also.

    Read the Tim Rudman book on toning which is definitive and gives many examples and suggestions for numerous toners.
     
  3. waileong

    waileong Member

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    Strangely, I don't find FB to be "better" than RC except in archival aspect (and maybe feel-- real paper feel vs plasticky feel). My RC's turn out to be more glossy than my FB, for instance, and I like the glossy look.
     
  4. mrtoml

    mrtoml Member

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    I'm using the non-smelly kind. I have Tim Rudman's book, but it is not so clear on certain things such as washing times for the bleach and after the toning process. With RC this is not such a big deal as they wash so fast, but with FB I am not sure how long to wash for at each stage. Presumably FB papers are all different in this respect?
     
  5. mrtoml

    mrtoml Member

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    I don't think this is necessarily strange. I believe I can see a slight improvement over the same prints on RC. It is there, but it is not overwhelming. I think I like the 'overall look' better and the semi-gloss feel. Like you I also like the tactile, non-plastic qualities of the paper over RC. I guess a lot of this is just down to personal tastes.
     
  6. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    There's not such a great leap going from resin coated to fiber based papers. You need to be a little more careful handling fiber prints while wet and wash times are considerably longer, but that's about it. Squeegee both sides of the fiber based print after washing and lay them out on screens to dry. Yes, they will curl up. They can be flattened with a clothes iron (not too hot) once dry. I don't suggest this for anyone doing high volume work, but for the hobbyist on a limited budget and with limited space, it works fine.
     
  7. Kvistgaard

    Kvistgaard Member

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    Alternatively, try taping your wet prints (emulsion side up) to a clean glass (or other hard, non-absorbing) surface with water colour tape, which you can get inexpensively at an artists' supply shop. This kind of tape sticks only when wet, and if you tape your print along all four sides, it - the print - will pull itself nice and flat when drying.

    One caveat, though: for some reason the print now & then sticks to the glass surface. You can avoid this by sticking a sheet of ordinary typewriter paper between the print and the glass.

    Good luck!
     
  8. mrtoml

    mrtoml Member

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    I did some toning yesterday of the first batch and noticed on a couple of the prints what looked like fingermarks/stains on the edge of the image. I guess this is from residual fixer that must have still been on my hands when I took the prints out of the washer.

    Have to remember the gloves next time I suppose. Fixer is certainly hard to get off the skin.
     
  9. Don Wallace

    Don Wallace Member

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    Gloves are to keep stuff off of one's hands, not the prints. I can stain a print with gloves on even easier than with bare hands because I can't feel the chemistry on the gloves like I can on my skin. Judicious use of tongs is the solution! And I always keep a dishtowel hung through my belt.
     
  10. mrtoml

    mrtoml Member

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    I use disposable nitrile gloves. At the end of a session I can easily put on a new one just before I remove the prints from the washer and then throw it away afterwards.
     
  11. PVia

    PVia Member

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    Tongs are really the answer...with gloves you can easily contaminate the print at any stage.

    What do you do when you have to get a sheet of paper from the safe and you've just handled a wet print? Do you take the gloves off every time? Wet fingers will mar a fresh sheet of paper every time...

    If you don't like the feel of tongs and holding them closed is tough because of whatever reason, try the stainless ones that are spring loaded...you press to open them and then they stay closed with no pressure from your fingers. I love these...
     
  12. rcoda

    rcoda Member

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    "typewriter paper"? They still make that? :smile: