Liquid Emulsion on Canvas

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by thefizz, Jan 11, 2006.

  1. thefizz

    thefizz Subscriber

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    I will be trying out liquid emulsion on an artist's canvas which comes stretched over a basic wooden frame.

    I have read that the emulsion will expand when wet and shrink when dried, so my question is should I remove the canvas from the frame before developing. This would allow it to expand and shrink easier. I had been thinking of leaving the canvas on the frame and putting it upside down in the developing tray.

    Anyone see any problems with that?

    Thanks,
    Peter
     
  2. tormod

    tormod Member

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    Do any one know someting about this?

    tormod
     
  3. magic823

    magic823 Member

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    Works fine not on the frame. Its what I did for the print exchange last time. Size the canvas first and then the liquid emulsion. Expect about a 50% failure rate though (at least that's what I average.)

    Steve
     
  4. thebanana

    thebanana Subscriber

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    I've never had much luck with artist canvas. The problem is that it is very porous, so the emulsion seeps into the canvas. In order for a neg to properly develop it needs a smoother surface.There may be some way to prep the canvas, but you would need to find a substance that would withstand the developing and washing process. Artist paper on the other hand, seems to be easier to get results from. The best luck I ever had was using ceramic tiles or glass. It both cases, the surface needs to be roughed up considerably using sandpaper before applying the liquid light.
     
  5. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    One of the problem is that Liquid Light and other emulsion products don't contain a hardener. Therefore, it can wash off during processing.

    Another is that it probably does not contain enough or any surfactant. A surfactant will help spread it evenly on the surface of the canvas. And, it may take two coatings.

    I can't say for sure, as I make my own emulsions, but I have been able to coat my emulsions on canvas with little problem, but see difficulties if I leave out or vary hardener or surfactant.

    I would suggest adding either chrome alum (10%) or glyoxal (10%) to the emulsion, about 5 ml / 150 ml of emulsion. Coat and let dry for about 4 hours or more and then process.

    Another alternative is to soak in a pre-hardener and omit the hardner.

    PE
     
  6. smieglitz

    smieglitz Member

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    I've used canvas gwoo sizing (i.e., wabbit skin gwoo) successfully fow duewing gum bichwomate pwints on paypuhs. I suspect it would cweate a pwopaw substwate fow pwinting wiquid emowshuns on canvas. Next choice would be to twy sizing with someting wike 250 bwoom ossein (hawd gewatin) or maybe give it a bwushing of ahwbwumen (egg white) twying to not genewate too many bubbles in the pwocess.

    Wegawds,

    smiegwitz
     
  7. glennfromwy

    glennfromwy Member

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    Rockand Colloid makes a Liquid Light emulsion specifically for fabrics. You may want to check that out. Otherwise, I would say leave the canvas on the stretcher frame and apply several coats of emulsion. Use a hardening fixer. Be really careful not to exceed 68° F, also. Gentle agitation and wash. Use hypo clear to reduce wash times. Good luck. I'll bet it would be beautiful.
     
  8. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    I have no experience in this area, so this is a pure guess. Sizing the canvas with gelatin (several coats of dilute gelatin solution) might be a way to mitigate the coating problems.
     
  9. Willie Jan

    Willie Jan Member

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    I left the canvas on the wood when working with it. Some canvas i used was ok and others soaked the emulsion up. So a gelatin prefix would be good to do.

    The nice thing about leaving the wood around the canvas is that you can develop/fix the picture with floating. When the wood gets wet be sure to wash good because the develop/fix can get deep into the wood.
     
  10. stormbytes

    stormbytes Member

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    What exactly does "subbing" with gelatin mean? Could someone describe a workflow?
     
  11. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Sometimes, emulsions in gelatin or polymer will not stick to a surface. It is then necessary to coat a first layer (sub) that is compatible with both the emulsion and the support. Gelatin alone is often used with a hardener and spreading agent.

    PE
     
  12. stormbytes

    stormbytes Member

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    Borrowing from Rockland Colloid's Faq's:

    "Liquid Light and Ag-Plus prints consist of colloidal silver grains in a gelatin binder"

    Considering this, is there any point to "sub'ing" with a layer of gelatin (am I using the term correctly?) with canvas as the target medium or does the gelatin/emulsion suspension sort of 'auto-sub' ?

    The RC Faq seems to talk about sub'ing only in terms of ceramics or glass, which is another reason I'm asking.
     
  13. Photo Engineer

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    Well, the answer is "it depends".

    I dont sub my glass plates and have no problem, but others sub them complaining of problems.

    You have to try a few to find out what is best for your workflow.

    PE
     
  14. stormbytes

    stormbytes Member

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    Thanks PE. More then a fair response.

    Half a pound of gelatin is going to run me an extra $20 or so from Artcraft.

    Can't blame a guy for trying to err on the side of cheapness :smile:

    I'm not sure if I should start another thread or simply ask here, so I'll be lazy:

    Same question for Gum Bichromates on canvas, to sub or not to sub?
     
  15. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Again, that depends.

    Coating on a textured support will be more difficult than a smooth support and there are other factors involved here.

    IDK what gelatin Artcraft sells. I do know that the Formulary sells Kodak Photograde Gelatin.

    PE
     
  16. CMB

    CMB Member

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    Most commercially available "artist" canvas comes with a "subbing" or primer layer that serves two functions: 1. It smooths out the canvas weave (multiple subbing layers provide smoother surfaces) and 2. It improves the receptivity to subsequent "topcoats" (such as your proposed Liquid Light) or most commonly, oil, acrylic and watercolor paints. This subcoat is rarely made of gelatin - usually PVA or a similar substance. So unless you have obtained raw, un-subbed canvas, there should be no necessity for you to gelatin coat the canvas to prepare it for your purposes. I would suggest that you obtain unmounted canvas in rolls (or sheets) and after processing, mount it in on stretcher bars.

    In the early 90's, UltraStable coated several hundreds of thousands of square feet of canvas for IRIS printers and was considered to be the "gold standard" for fine art giclee printers. The emulsion was virtually identical to the gelatin emulsion used to coat
    final transfer papers for the UltraStable Pigment process.
     
  17. stormbytes

    stormbytes Member

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    Thanks PE. More then a fair response.

    Half a pound of gelatin is going to run me an extra $20 or so from Artcraft.

    Can't blame a guy for trying to err on the side of cheapness :smile:

    I'm not sure if I should start another thread or simply ask here, so I'll be lazy:

    Same question for Gum Bichromates on canvas, to sub or not to sub?