Pre-coated albumen paper at B&S

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by Dana Sullivan, Jun 22, 2008.

  1. Dana Sullivan

    Dana Sullivan Advertiser Advertiser

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    My father and I are working on producing pre-coated albumen paper. Our preliminary tests are being done on strathmore 400, but we will likely switch to a thinner paper to reproduce the look and feel of vintage albumen prints.

    Our goal is to produce a pre-salted and albumenized paper. which the printer will sensitized with silver nitrate. We feel that this will fill a void in the market place, because many people are familiar with albumen printing, yet most are hesitant to start cracking eggs. Pricing shoud be similar to our carbon tissue, so it will be affordable to students and hobbyists.

    Now my question: Does anyone have any recommendations for a thin paper that comes in rolls? Preferably around 50-70 gsm with a hard surface and neutral pH.

    Thanks,

    Dana
     
  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The paper with the most traditional look for albumen is Strathmore 500 single-ply plate, but it doesn't come in rolls as far as I know.
     
  3. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    Dana,
    This is awesome, I'm ready to buy some, when you're ready to offer it.

    As far as paper goes, maybe Monadnock paper has something suitable, http://www.mpm.com/
     
  4. RobertP

    RobertP Subscriber

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    Dana, Are you double coating?
     
  5. doughowk

    doughowk Subscriber

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    Another photographer in my area does Albumen, and the prints are lovely. He did a demo on the process, and I thought it seemed like alot of work. But, if you will be creating the paper, I will try it. I've tried Strathmore 500 with another process, and am impressed with its quality. Good luck with your efforts.
     
  6. donbga

    donbga Member

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    So are you guys planning to use eggs from free range chickens. Sounds funny but I've heard that is what Zoe Zimmerman prefers.
     
  7. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Wow Dana that sounds great!
     
  8. nze

    nze Member

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    Santa fe is the place to live when you're photographer. Can't help about the paper.
     
  9. Dana Sullivan

    Dana Sullivan Advertiser Advertiser

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    Robert, I'm not sure double coating will be feasible for us, but we're going to explore all the possibilities. We can vary the thickness of the coating, though, which may lead to different 'grades' of paper being available.

    Don, We're using commercial-grade dried egg whites as our source for albumen. Sorry to say, but I won't be chasing chickens around the barnyard, catching the eggs before they touch the ground. I'm not sure why Zoe prefers free-range albumen prints, but she's been a Santa Fe resident for many years.... You make you own judgements :wink:

    As far as papers go, Ive found several different lightweight archival inkjet papers that look promising. As long as they are chlorine-free and relatively neutral pH, I believe we can make them work. /crosses fingers

    Thanks for the input, fellas!

    -Dana
     
  10. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    So do you have a mechanical method for coating roll paper with salted albumen? In the photographs of the nineteenth-century factories, one usually sees lines of German ladies in puffy white dresses floating paper in trays.

    Albumen doesn't set up as quickly as gelatin, so I would think the key to such a process would be the drying system, which might produce a better albumen paper than drip drying, since more albumen would be at the surface, rather than absorbed into the paper.
     
  11. RobertP

    RobertP Subscriber

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    I'm finding the best results I'm getting is to double coat. The first coat is hardened in an alcohol bath before applying the second coat. I have a local farmer that supplies me with fresh eggs so I have never used the dried egg whites. I know others who have used the dried egg whites with great success though. I started out using the float method but I've since started using John Coffer's technique of folding the paper in half and rubber cementing three sides. This allows you to submerge the paper producing two sheets at a time. By submerging it helps eliminate those pesty surface bubbles you must contend with that pop up from time to time. Once the albumenizing is completed then the sensitizing is done the same way, by submerging. Then the glued edges are trimmed away and you have two sheets ready for ammonia fuming and printing. Of course there are many ways to make albumen paper but this is what works best for me.
     
  12. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    I use the Crane's Kid Finish that you sell. Can they sell it to you in a roll?
    juan
     
  13. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    Most commercial paper is MADE in rolls. The fact that it is not offered in rolls is just a marketing decision. By contacting the paper mill direct, since you will actually be a manufacturer of a product using the paper, you might be able to secure a supply in roll form. Of course I know that some very expensive "fine art" papers are hand laid on screens in sheets, but I don't think you are talking about that.
     
  14. Tim Boehm

    Tim Boehm Subscriber

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    You've got a customer here.
     
  15. Dana Sullivan

    Dana Sullivan Advertiser Advertiser

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    We have contacts at several of the large mills, including Crane's and Southworth. Yes, many of the papers we use come in rolls. Unfortunately, many of those rolls are too big fit through the door, or even inside our building!

    The paper is machine coated, using the same machine we make carbon tissue on.
     
  16. Guillaume Zuili

    Guillaume Zuili Subscriber

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    This is great news !
    G.
     
  17. ZKadar

    ZKadar Member

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    Dana,
    Since no one else seemed to answer your question. Bienfang Graphics 360 Translucent Marker Paper. Over the counter it comes in pads but I would think it could be soured from the manufacturer on rolls. It was the thin paper of choice for many platinum folks for a long time.
    Zsolt
     
  18. jamie young

    jamie young Member

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    Hi Dana
    I looked around for alt paper rolls for my cirkut shots and found a paper called ANW drawing and framing. It's thicker than you want, from the sound of it. I've have good luck with it doing van dyke and cyanotypes, but would guess it's in the 190 range thickness. I get it in 10 yard by 60" rolls. I could probably send a sample if you like. Let me know if you are interested. I'm a B&S customer, and you can also pm me or get my contact info from my web site. By the way , I'm always interested in hearing about other roll paper options as well.
    Jamie Young, madison, WI