Tea toned cyanotype

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by JBrunner, Nov 25, 2006.

  1. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I've been contemplating a revisit to cyanotype, and was liking some of the tea toned examples I have run across. Anyone know what bleach and dilutions? How far do I bleach?
    Any ideas beyond tea? Other treatments? All I've ever done are strait prussian blue, but I'd like to play around beyond that.

    J
     
  2. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I don't bleach at all! Also my tap water is slightly acidic, so the colour won't bleach in the wash either.

    Two bags of Lipton't yellow, allow to steep in 1/2 liter of boiling water until the "tea" has cooled down to room temperature. Then put the print in until it looks right. The shadows go blue-black, the highlights sometimes oddly pink. Everything depends on the paper.

    If you do want to bleach, use any mild alkali.
     
  3. doughowk

    doughowk Subscriber

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    A good article on toning. Following his directions, I've used ammonia for bleach.
     
  4. sanfrancisconudes

    sanfrancisconudes Member

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    I use ammonia. It works but it's stinky. If bubbles form on the paper you'll need to agitate them off or you'll get spotting.

    I find instant coffee or instant iced tea are nice because it's quick and you can make a super concentrated solution for cheap if you want. I've also used straight tannic acid. The more acidic the solution the more likely you are to get that purple back look, otherwise you'll get more brown.

    My recommendation is just to play around with some different things and see what colors you get and what you like best. If you have some junker prints that didn't come out quite right that you've been saving... now's the time to put them to good use!
     
  5. philldresser

    philldresser Subscriber

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    J

    I dont use bleach either. I use a regular brand which is freely avialble in UK.

    I have had reasonably good sucsess with cyanotypes and have learned some tips along the way. The main ones are

    • dry your image first to let it oxidise and then thouroghly resoak your paper before toning.
    • I use 2 bags in 300 ml of boiling water and let it seep and cool. When at room temp then add the print.
    • I also replace the solution when it takes on a milky appearance (sizing?). I have also used hot teabags on local spots.

    Good luck and have fun

    Phill
     
  6. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Ok following the article (Kia Hamann) linked above I've made some good progress. It could use a bit more exposure, but thats not hard to correct, I was more interested in the toning process. For warm the tones I wanted I found that reinsertion in the dilute ammonia for several seconds after the tannic acid was the crucial step, but only a few seconds or Dmax would suffer. And so tea toned shroom is born. The paper is Rapidograph, as Cranes self destructed upon contact with ammonia.
     

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  7. Christopher D. Keth

    Christopher D. Keth Member

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    Instant coffee is nice to use. Instant tea always has sugar in it which is a pain to wash out of the paper. I bleached with ammonia (in the garage) and it worked wonderfully. Do it a couple times and you can gauge the bleaching and toning by eye.
     
  8. Salmonoid

    Salmonoid Member

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    No bleach...vs. bleach

    I have tried bleaching with baking soda, but it reduces the densities on the toned print. I have not tried ammonia, but instead tone directly with the left over morning coffee (folgers). The toning process takes a very long time, sometimes more than an hour, and gives very nice tones, but stains the paper as well. The results look very warm and antique. I just wish I could speed up the toning process.
     
  9. blokeman

    blokeman Member

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    .....from experience I found that the cheapest & nastiest teas give the best results, more tannin I guess. BTW nice image of the 'shroom!
     
  10. jamie young

    jamie young Member

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    I just did traditional cyanotypes and let them dry. I went back later and toned them in lipton tea. Most sources I've seen recommend cheap black tea like lipton,a nice change from the costly mixes of gold and platinum. I didn't do any bleaches or anything, and found the cyan color changed to a darker more neutral gray blue, and the paper took on a cool magenta "split tone" feel, though really is more of a paper stain. It's a great look and really simple.
    Jamie Young
     
  11. Christopher D. Keth

    Christopher D. Keth Member

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    Toning generally looks best when you let the print oxidize for a few days after printing, or use a peroxide (regular household cut-cleaner) bath after washing, then wash again.

    This will intensify the blues and make any toning you do work faster and look better than if you toned fresh prints.
     
  12. Loris Medici

    Loris Medici Member

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    FWIW,

    I haven't observed any difference between toning a fresh print and toning an aged one. *As long as the print is well cleared and oxidized in a weak peroxide bath afterwards.*

    As a result; I adopted the method of toning right after clearing + peroxide + rinse - without letting it dry...

    Regards,
    Loris.