Keeping Properties of Silver Nitrate Solution

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by UKJohn, Mar 5, 2007.

  1. UKJohn

    UKJohn Subscriber

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    About five weeks ago I had a crack at salt printing (which proved pretty successful), at the time I made up a 100ml soultion of silver nitrate, which included citric acid in the receipe. As I didn't use the full about, infact considerably little of it as it happens, I went out purchased a brown 100ml medicine bottle and thought I'd store it for a future date.

    Today, I have been salting some paper for a second attempt at the process and thought I'd just check out the silver nitrate solution previously made. What I found was that at the base of the bottle white (I think they are white) crystals have formed. When shaking the bottle, thinking this would redissolve these, the solution turns milky but the crystals remain. The silver nitrate solution has been stored in a dark and cool location.

    I was just wondering whether the made up silver nitrate can actually be stored for any period of time or is it more sensible just to make up smaller quantities for use at the specific time?

    Cheers

    John
     
  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I've had a batch for albumen printing going for months. I filter it with kaolin (see Reilly's book at albumen.stanford.edu for details), decant a few times, and then top off the bottle with fresh solution as needed.
     
  3. doughowk

    doughowk Subscriber

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    Not having done salt prints myself, I'm curious why you are mixing silver nitrate with citric acid? From reading Terry King's chapter in Coming into Focus, it would seem that the silver nitrate is applied as a separate coating.
    Having only done kallitypes, I mix up just enough sensitizer as needed for current printing session. The silver nitrate solution, by itself, should last for a few months.
     
  4. JG Motamedi

    JG Motamedi Member

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    The Citric Acid precipitates out of the Silver Nitrate solution in time, nothing to be done about it. Just filter the solution and add more Citric Acid.
     
  5. UKJohn

    UKJohn Subscriber

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    The Citric Acid precipitates out of the Silver Nitrate solution in time, nothing to be done about it. Just filter the solution and add more Citric Acid.

    Maybe its the Citric Acid thats now settled onto the bottom of the jar. I'll re-decant and add more when I next use it.

    I added Citric Acid after my very first attempt at Salt Printing, which proved a little less successful that I had hoped, so wishing to do better next time I researched different receipies. This included adding gelatine to the salt mix and citric acid to the silver nitrate solution, the resulting images were considerably better. I understood the Citric Acid added longevity to the silver nitrate solution once coated onto the paper, but I could be wrong.

    I have this time round added a 1% solution of potassium dichromate to the salt mix as well - just to see what effect this has.

    Anyway, many thanks for your comments they are much appreciated.