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Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by kevin klein, Feb 23, 2014.
What can be used for smooth surface cyanotypes other than hot pressed watercolor paper, and cheap.
im not sure how archival it is
but i use what someone at RISD told me was "butcher paper"
its cheap ( i got a 32x40 x 200 sheet stack FREE ) and smooth and thin
also i use borden & reily velum it works great
and is not expensive at all. the chemicals like it too ...
( so do liquid emulsions ! )
I have a pad of Yupo paper that I've been meaning to try. It's a smooth, waterproof watercolor paper. Because it's waterproof I'm not sure if it will actually hold the emulsion or not, it might just rinse away.
adelorenzo, Yupo won't work w/o a primer, it's absolutely impermeable and with cyanotype you need the emulsion IN the paper.
kevin, try Masa paper it's perfect for all iron / iron-silver processes and it's cheap too. (Something like USD 1.2 - 1.3 per 21x31" sheet... I remember the times when it was only USD 0.7/sheet.)
I'm currently printing a series on Canson Editions which has one smooth surface. It is cheap. First run I had a little trouble with coating, however subsequent ones with my paying a little more attention I have had no problem, I do use a little Tween with it. Bill Barber
Kevin, I do a lot of my wet and dry plate 5 x 7's as cyanotypes to get a good look at the neg before settling on what process I will print them in, and then finish off some as cyanotypes. Years ago after much searching I started using Strathmore Sketch 300 50 pound paper. Just bought a new 18 x 24, 30 sheet pad for $12.75 at a local art store. It takes and holds good the old traditional cyanotype chemicals, does not rip easy , and is great tea tonned. Takes the extra wash after being tonned too. You can see some examples in my gallery. Best I've found and done hundreds on it!
Loris, am I miss reading what you say here, as with Cyanotype you don't need an emulsion (by that I mean gelatin).
Thanks everyone, I will do some experimenting.
Clive you're right, "sensitizer" would be the absolutely correct term here. But we often intermix these two terms here in the alt-process forum, trivial stuff... BTW you don't absolutely need gelatin for an "emulsion".
Yes, I understand any suspension substance may be classed as such.
Loris, do you coat the smoothest side or the slightly rough side?
I use "Bristol" papers, when I want smooth. Bristol paper comes in various weights and brands, just make sure not to use the very heavy variants, as they basically are multiple layers glued together (like passepartouts), which get separated in long water baths.
The brand my art shop sells makes single layered Bristol paper up to 495g/m².
However, it's usually buffered, so an acid treatment is recommended to get the best possible Dmax.
kevin, both sides are usable, I personally prefer the smooth side.
I have used and very much like the masa paper for cyanotype, especialy for making toned prints, it's great stuff. I need to buy more. Thanks.
One more suggestion for a smooth low-cost unbuffered cyanotype paper:
UniversityProducts Perma/Dur Unbuffered Interleaving Paper
It is intended for archival storage slip-sheets, but works great for cyanotype. Coated paper stores better before use than any others I've tried. It is listed as 118gsm, but I measure 137gsm.
I get great results from Eaton's onion skin typing paper. My packet is about 40 years old and works great. 100% cotton fiber.
David you have any examples to share with unbuffered paper...seems really like a great alternative
Here is a scan of a number of small images. All except the upper left one are with the UniversityProducts Perma/Dur Unbuffered Interleave paper. The top row are shadow-prints of a test pattern - a couple crossed strips with 60% and 8% transmission, along with some opaque objects taped to a piece of mylar and exposed with a 7.5W 395nm LED. Total exposure is listed in K-Joules per square meter. The bottom row is images taken with a surplus rear-projection TV lens as a camera. None of these are "pretty" images - I'm not an artist - rather I'm interested in the science.
The right-hand three images are "new cyanotype", the recipe from Mike Ware, listed in his book "Cyanomicon" and in different forums. The left-hand four images are using the new positive siderotype (iron-based photography) process I've been developing. I just posted that work here yesterday:
I'm not sure if any of these images are good enough for you to judge the paper. My preference for this paper is based on these characteristics:
Doesn't contain any CaCO3 or other buffering
Lasts the longest between coating and exposure for cyanotype - the only one I've tried that is reasonably good a day or two later.
My positive process has much less issue with delay between coating and exposure - a few weeks are fine, so this paper has less advantage there.
I haven't purchased any of the more expensive art papers, so don't have those for comparison.
If anyone else tries this paper, I'd love to hear how satisfactory it is for real art.