Possibly silly idea about paper coating

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by Akki14, Apr 5, 2007.

  1. Akki14

    Akki14 Member

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    I'm about to try traditional cyanotype for the first time and I've been reading about glass coating rods and have bought a hake brush. I was just thinking, has anyone tried using a plastic straw as a coating rod? I figure the bendy part on one end would make a decent handle like the glass coating rods have but am not sure just how nonreactive plastic is to cyanotype nor if it has similar pushing and pulling properties.

    If you all think I'm mad, I'm willing to try it out on my own :D
     
  2. nicolai

    nicolai Member

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    I have no idea, but I'm also interested in the answer!
     
  3. Joe Lipka

    Joe Lipka Member

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    If you are not mad, will you still try it? 8)

    Try both and make your decision on which works best for you. The thing is about alternative processes, it's one big long science experiment which produces art.
     
  4. mmcclellan

    mmcclellan Subscriber

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    Isn't the real issue here having the rigidity that's needed to ensure a smooth and even coating? With plastic, it would seem to be impossible to maintain even pressure across the length of the straw so that some ares end up with thinner coating and others with thicker. Just a thought . . . .
     
  5. Akki14

    Akki14 Member

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    I thought that the point of coating rods is that it pulls the liquid across the paper? Are you suppose to be putting loads of pressure on a coating rod?

    I tried it on the watercolour paper i'm intending on experimenting on and, okay it was completely dried didn't try to steam it or anything, but it seemed to gather randomly so i was only pushing streaks so maybe not the best idea i've come up with. Probably just need practice though.

    I'm fairly mad, I'm sure I'll do it anyway as part of my experiments. I've already soaked two pieces of the watercolour paper in a 20g to 1litre filtered water solution as it was suppose to be acidfree paper but doesn't say if it's buffered or not. It's cheap storebrand stuff so I figured it might possibly not be buffered.
     
  6. davido

    davido Subscriber

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    You need some amount of pressure to keep the 'device' in complete contact with the paper or the sensitizer won't be pushed along evenly. the weight of the glass rod is pretty much enough but a little bit of pressure has to be applied in my opinion (especially if you are making larger sized prints than say 4x5).
    If you are getting streaks, then you're not using enough sensitizer. It's good to practice with water/foodcoloring. I would try a somewhat decent paper like Stonehenge, which is reasonable and proven to work well with VDB's. At least then you narrow down a few variables.

    david
     
  7. davido

    davido Subscriber

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    sorry, just remembered that you're doing Cyanotypes! oops! well, Stonehenge is still a decent paper. I'm sure it would do fine for Cynotypes too.

    david
     
  8. Monophoto

    Monophoto Member

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    The Rising mill that manufactures Stonehenge paper has announced that they will be closing permanently in June.

    FWIW, I made a puddle pusher using a length of 1/2" plexiglass rod glued to a 1x2" scrap of 1/4" sheet plexiglass. Works just fine and was very inexpensive.
     
  9. davido

    davido Subscriber

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    oh s**t!! that's a real drag about Rising Mill closing. Stonehenge is really a great paper for the price.
    david
     
  10. bruce terry

    bruce terry Member

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    Akki14 - You already know I suspect, that a RIGID puddle-pusher rod requires a leveled glass plate underneath too work in bulletproof mode.

    A brush is slightly more forgiving.

    If a straw, first pretest it in a hyper-thick chocolate milkshake - if it doesn't collapse sucking-up the first lump of ice cream it probably can shove around some whimpy chemicals before it disintegrates.

    :•/
     
  11. Allen Friday

    Allen Friday Member

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    Just a thought: Could you put a small wooden dowel inside the straw to give some heft? If the dowel is shorter than the straw, you would still beable to bend the end of the straw to make the handles.