Spotone Replacement

Discussion in 'Presentation & Marketing' started by RalphLambrecht, Jun 7, 2006.

  1. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    Since Spotone is gone, I'm looking for replacements. After evaluating the commercial products, I heard somewhere of a recipe to make your own from india ink, gum arabic and water. But I can't recall where.

    Does anyone have a recipe?
     
  2. Monophoto

    Monophoto Member

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    Edward Weston used an india ink and gum arabic mixuture. The formula is reproduced in the original edition of Adams "The Print":

    "use equal parts (by weight) of Chinese (stick) ink and gum arabic; dissolve in enough water to cover these ingredients, and mix. Let dry out and mold to suit. Moisten a brush in water (to which a wetting agent may be added), wipe on a piece of paper until the proper gray shows, then apply to the print. A dry brush works much better than a "wet" brush. The amount of gum arabic may be increased 2 or 3 time to increae the sheet of the spotted area of the print."

    For what it's worth, a commercial alternative is a set of spotting colors from Marshalls (the folks who make the oil coloring materials).

    In my case, I bought a set of SpotTone colors about 30 years ago. I figure that I'm likely to run out before they will.
     
  3. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    Thanks

    I found it on page 196. Much appreciated!
     
  4. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    I've been satisfied with Dr. Ph. Martin's Synchromatic Transparent Water Color in sepia. They make a variety of colors to mix for precise color matching. I'll try their black if my stash of Spotone runs out. An art supply store may stock this line. Some of their products, such as Radiant Concentrated Water Color, may not be permanent enough for displayed prints.
     
  5. AgCl4ever

    AgCl4ever Member

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    I too have run out of Spotone (well, I should have tried to revive the dried out stuff in the bottles). I have recently had good results using Peerless analine dyes (the ones for hand coloring). The pearl grey seemed to be close enough to black when used fairly concentrated, and sepia can always be added for warm tone.

    Ken
     
  6. Michael A. Smith

    Michael A. Smith Subscriber

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    Peerless Dry Spot works perfectly. Comes in several shades of black and gray.
     
  7. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

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    Chinese stick ink comes in two colors depending on the type of wood used to make the charcoal. One is a brownish black and the other a bluish black. This will allow you to reproduce two of the Spottone colors.
     
  8. Mike Kennedy

    Mike Kennedy Member

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    I have a 6 pack of Spotone inks that have never been opened. I shall post them in the classified section.

    Mike
     
  9. Scott Peters

    Scott Peters Member

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  10. David R Munson

    David R Munson Member

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    Can someone post a picture or a link to an online listing for this sort of ink? I'm going to try the Weston approach, but I want to be sure of what I'm actually looking for. Is it like the ink stick used for sumi-e? Thanks!
     
  11. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    See attached image. I'm surprised to see this request to come out of Korea. I thought this type of ink was more common in Asia than Europe or the Americas. Is that not so? Have I been assuming something here?
     

    Attached Files:

  12. David R Munson

    David R Munson Member

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    Well, I can definitely find it now that I know what it is, exactly, but I wanted to have a better idea of what I was looking for as sometimes things familiar things go by unfamiliar terms. Turns out it's something I know well enough. After work tonight I'll stop by an art shop where I can get not only the gum arabic but can choose from a range of at least a dozen ink sticks. Thanks!
     
  13. photo8x10

    photo8x10 Member

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    I use Peerless dry, works perfectelly!

    Stefano
     
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  15. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    Why? You can get an ink stick for the same price, and it will last a thousand times longer.
     
  16. ooze

    ooze Member

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    Have you checked the retouching section at Silverprint? They are selling Schmincke inks as a replacement. I have bought a set of Schmincke inks but haven't had the chance to try them yet as I still have plenty of Spotone.
     
  17. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    I would stay away from those. They are not a dye but a highly-expensive laquer that is not absorbed by the emulsion but sits on top of it. The examples I've seen showed obvious tell-tale signs of repair. You don't get that with Spotone or ink.
     
  18. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council

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    There are also the SpotPens - they come in sets of 10, from a just-barely-darker-than-paper-white to absolute black. They can produce a point as fine as a #00 brush. They have warm tone and cool tone sets. They're not cheap, but they're well worth the money.
     
  19. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    Interesting. I ALWAYS put a small amount on a saucer and let it dry out, then remoistened with a tiny bit of water taken up on the end of my brush.
     
  20. David R Munson

    David R Munson Member

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    Thing is, as long as I've been printing, I've spotted with Spotone and a tiny brush. At this point it just works really well for me and I'd just as soon keep working in a method that I've proven in my own work.
     
  21. John R.

    John R. Member

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    Ditto on this method, this is what I have done for years and years, even in my past commercial labs. Only difference is that I also used a watercolor mix tray too.
     
  22. Ulrich Drolshagen

    Ulrich Drolshagen Subscriber

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    I've tried them too, for whatever they made them, at least it's not for retouching. I have three of of them: brown black, neutral grey and jet black. Anyone paying the postage may have them.

    Ulrich
     
  23. ooze

    ooze Member

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    Bad news:surprised:
    I should take extra care with my Spotone supply.

    I'm still baffled why Silverprint would say on their website that "The Diaphoto dyes equate to the old Spotone range.."
     
  24. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    Is Marshall's Spot-all still around? That is decent stuff! Nevertheless, ink sticks work well. Spotting dyes will be the last thing missing, as far as photographic supplies go.
     
  25. rbrown2

    rbrown2 Member

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    I am trying to do the stick ink and gum arabic method and don't know what I was supposed to get but the stick ink doesn't dissolve very well. I started yesterday afternoon. Some of it did dissolve into the gum arabic/water solution but for the most part it is still a lump sitting in a pool of black water. Is this the expected result?
     
  26. Jon Shiu

    Jon Shiu Subscriber

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    In normal use, you wet the ink stick in water and kind of use a circular grinding motion on a stone-like thing that slopes and has a reservoir at one side.

    Jon

    oh, just noticed there is a picture upthread