salted isopropyl as a hardener for albumen

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by smieglitz, Nov 3, 2005.

  1. smieglitz

    smieglitz Subscriber

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    Hi,

    I've recently read that salted isopropyl alcohol can be used as a hardening bath for albumen printing when one wants to double-coat the albumen. Apparently the second coat will dissolve the first if the first layer is not hardened beforehand. Is this correct? Or does drying the albumen harden it enough? Is drying under low heat in a dry mount press an equally acceptable way to harden the albumen?

    What might I expect to be different when sensitizing/printing/processing a hardened vs unhardened albumen print? Increased gloss or ???

    The salting formula I'm using is:

    1% sodium chloride
    1.3% ammonium chloride
    2.2% sodium citrate

    The sensitizer is 20% silver nitrate brought to pH2 with glacial acetic acid.

    Thanks for any insight.

    Joe
     
  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    At the workshop I recently attended, Daniel Levin said that he wasn't interested in the alcohol drying technique, just because it seemed unpleasant to be in a room with a tray of alcohol, and it didn't seem necessary to him.

    We hardened the albumen and loosened up the paper simultaneously by steaming the albumenized paper before sensitizing it. We used a large clothing steamer, but he said that in his darkroom, he uses a teapot on an electric burner, and that a narrow spout is handy for directing the steam. I suppose that you could double coat in the same way--steam the paper, then coat again, then dry, steam, and sensitize. He also mentioned that aging the paper would harden it, but it may take weeks.
     
  3. mikepry

    mikepry Subscriber

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    I've used both the alcohol and the dry mount press and prefer the dry mount press.