The Paper Chase

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by Annie, Feb 28, 2004.

  1. Annie

    Annie Member

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    I am posting this on the off chance that someone knows who supplies Kodak with their paper stock. I have contacted Kodak but I am assuming that they may not be forthcoming about their supplier or willing to sell me uncoated stock.

    Yesterday I made my best Platinum print thus far on Kodak fine art paper with the emulsion removed and then sized with corn starch and oxalic acid.... the coating went on like butter, the finished print is very smooth even under the loupe as the paper has minimal texture. However, if the step of removing the emulsion is not just right (any residual clay layer) there are problems further on in the process.... basically removing the emulsion is a PITA, so I wish to obtain uncoated stock.

    Also...I believe that Bergger sells uncoated paper stock so I am also wondering if anyone has tried their smooth finished papers (not the textured) with Platinum... I know some people use the uncoated Bergger with carbon.

    Any assistance you can offer me, or other suggestions for smooth paper stock is appreciated.
     
  2. Michael Mutmansky

    Michael Mutmansky Member

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    Annie,

    Can't help you with the Kodak source, although it shouldn't be too hard with some research to find the supplier to Kodak. There's only so many paper suppliers in the US. Good luck buying anything less than a monster master roll of paper, though.

    Have you tried printing on the back of some FB papers? I have seen a print or two that looked good on the back side. This would only require that you fix out the paper and wash it really well first, but you probably wouldn't need to do too much other surface preparation. Some papers are printed with a logo on the back, but some aren't, so there may be a few options out there in this respect.

    The Bergger paper is COT-320, which is made by Arches, and is a modification of the Platine paper. It isn't identical, but it it is very similar. I use that as my primary printing paper for normal pt/pd prints. It seems to have a little higher contrast and dmax than Platine, and it seems that it may also have fewer defects.

    I believe the COT-320 paper is used by Bergger to make the Fine Art - Silver Supreme paper.


    ---Michael
     
  3. Michael Mutmansky

    Michael Mutmansky Member

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    Annie,

    One other thing, Kevin Sullivan told me recently that he has been printing on matte board. It has to be unbuffered board, but it does end up having a good smooth surface to it, and it typically will not separate in the wash as most people would expect.

    I tried it, but I ony have buffered board on hand, and the results weren't too good.

    I'm not a big fan of the texture that many papers will produce, so I am also on the lookout for the best, low texture paper that seems to make a good print.

    One nice thing about matte board is that you can get it in many, many colors, so you can be very selective about the base color you might use.

    ---Michael
     
  4. Annie

    Annie Member

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    Thanks Michael ....

    Somehow I got it into my head that using the backside is 'cheating' but on reflection that may not be so.

    The Bergger paper that the carbon printers are using is not Cot-320. There was a discussion of this recently on the Carbon Mailing list... One of the printers from Europe is getting paper 'custom', the Bergger PN42 Glossy and Pn 41 half matted.... without the silver added to the emulsion, just the gelatine coating.... I think the cost for this worked out to about 5 euros per square metre, and has the advantage that you can order in small batches.

    I had not connected the Cot-320 with the Bergger silver supreme.... So I think it may be possible to get the smooth Bergger papers without any coating without purchasing large volume... Makes me think they may be a better source than Kodak... if the Cot-320 is compatible perhaps the other Bergger papers are..... I will try the backside of some of the smooth Bergger (I have the J&C I think this is the same as Bergger) this weekend and see how it prints. If I get a reasonable print I will contact Bergger about purchasing small amounts of the smooth uncoated.

    Annie
     
  5. Joe Lipka

    Joe Lipka Member

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    I started using the Bergger COT 320 after Clay suggested it. Wonderful stuff. You can get it from Bostick and Sullivan. Delivered price is about $50 US for 25 11 x 14 sheets. Expensive? Yeah, but if you're doing pt/pd printing, you're already out a bunch of bucks anyway. Why not go fort it?
     
  6. Annie

    Annie Member

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    I have some of the Arches Platine and the Cot-320 on order, and I agree the Cot-320 in the hands of a master printer is sublime (I have seen examples).... The Cot-320 will most likely be my primary paper, just like to have the option of something a little smoother. I know I may give the impression that all I do is hack about but it just seems that way, as most of the traditional info is readily available it is usually the quirky situations for which I seek assistance.... Traditional platinum me is quietly working in the background.... :smile:

    Thanks Annie.
     
  7. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    Annie I have something you would probably like. I have a very big roll that is about 4 feet wide and I have no idea how long, but it is a thick roll about a foot across in diameter, of kodak paper. It was left out of it's proctective covering and before it was tossed out i drug it home. I have no idea why I did that. But if you would like it, it is yours. Just pay for the postage to send it to you and you can play with it to your hearts content.
     
  8. Deckled Edge

    Deckled Edge Member

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  9. philsweeney

    philsweeney Member

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    Annie, on a slightly different path I am still experimenting with different papers for Kallitype. My primary disapointment has been the coatings do not stay on the surface enough. I have fround one paper so far: strathmore 400 watercolor. It will work for some images. I am curious if you or others have tried Arches watercolor (hotpress)? I have been told the surface is very smooth and it is sized.
     
  10. Annie

    Annie Member

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    Aggie I see we have something in common..... I have also drug home some peculiar 'things' without knowing why! Thanks for the offer but I have reams of paper on hand (including a roll of the mural paper)... Hold on to that roll though someone will put it to good use.

    I have about 20 contemporary water-colour papers and a folio of vintage papers that I am gradually working through. I have tried some of the very rough textured papers such as the Strathmore and got good blacks but the problem was the way the coating settled into the paper with less density at the 'peaks' of the texture when viewed with a loupe. I think I have several types of Arches here but have yet to try them, sounds like that should be next. I have been focusing on the photographic papers because of their wet strength and smoothness.

    Back to the Bergger... Yesterday I removed the emulsion from the J&C Museum Classic which I assume is the Bergger Prestige stock..... It is smoother (not a fibre out of place!) and whiter than the Kodak . Strangely the paper seems to have a wrong and right side (absorbs the coating differently). I did a swatch test and got a black, so when it stops raining I will do a print and see.

    Thanks for your paper suggestions and your generous and thoughtful input..... If I ever happen to find another good 'smoothie' I will post here.

    Cheers Annie
     
  11. Annie

    Annie Member

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  12. philsweeney

    philsweeney Member

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    Annie, have you ever tried coating the paper right on top of the existing emulsion? After Michael suggested coating the back of a paper, I fixed some Ilford VC paper and want to do that, but I thought I might try to coat one on the emulsion side also.
     
  13. Annie

    Annie Member

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    Phil,

    Yes, I have done coating on the emulsion side and my experience was that the process was finicky, inconsistent, and the image was difficult to clear. I believe that in the silver emulsion contains some kind of resin that is resistant to additional coating. Craig Koshyk who is an experienced practitoner of this type of coating gave some information here...

    http://www.apug.org/site/main/viewt...t=&sid=82a4533215c4d06f1a0bed71bed4fa1c#22488

    And here....

    http://www.apug.org/site/main/viewtopic.php?p=17625&highlight=&sid=82a4533215c4d06f1a0bed71bed4fa1c

    My paper chase still continues..... After a polite 'kiss off' from both Bergger and Kodak I am now pursuing a recipe for the ideal Pt/Pd custom handmade paper... That way hopefully I can find the perfect pulp (a pinch of gampi for lustre!) with the perfect size and the perfect paper finish... I really like the idea of having a paper with 4 deckled edges that is dimensioned to my 7x11 negatives... You can actually have paper made to order by master papermakers for about twice the cost of 'off the rack' papers... personally, I am planning to 'hot press' my paper with metal plates through an old intaglio press.

    If anyone has any ideas for the 'Perfect Platinum Paper' recipe please post!!
     
  14. philsweeney

    philsweeney Member

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    I had small success on the backside of the Ilford VC (kallitype). After an initial print I reduced the coating for 8x10 to 1.2ml (usually 2ml). The contrast was low so today I'll increase the pot. dichromate. But so far no significant blotchyness (granularness? 8ml pot. di. per liter) in the highlights, like I had with other papers. The detail was fairly sharp and highlights seperated well (one of my pet peeves so far). One stray stain that hopefully is random. I am going to add 0.8ml of distilled water to get the solution total back to 2ml and increase my spreading time.
     
  15. philsweeney

    philsweeney Member

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    printed onto the VC paper again with more dichromate. Not much contrast imrpovement.
     
  16. nze

    nze Member

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    Hello Annie

    I am the one who use Bergger PN42 Glossy and Pn 41 half matted.... I truely prefer Pn41 to 4. The 42 give a really glossy look and I don't appreciate it. Both enhance the sharpness greatly .
    but At last I truely prefer to work with Cot320 and other fine art paper like Buxton , cappelades and so on.
     
  17. Annie

    Annie Member

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    Christian,

    I was not aware that the Capellades mill was producing fine art papers suitable for photographic processes. Are you using these with Pt/Pd? If so, I would be very interested if you could comment on the characteristics of the Capellades papers you are using and your assessment of them in relation to other papers such as the Cot320.

    Regards, Annie.
     
  18. nze

    nze Member

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    Annie,

    the Cappelades paper (their lightwiegth 110 gsm) ,used for writing and book edition, work quite well for palladium platinum print. An acid bath help the paper to give better result , but it works.
    It is a laid paper available in not or Hot press, both give nice result and got a really specific felling , like the buxton.

    Compare to Cot 320 the paper have more texture. I use it after applying a coat of 1% gelatin dilute in a 3% acid oxalic solution. it is a thin paper, so it is easy o work with on small print but you need the help of an plate of plexi when you print larger .

    Before it was only available in 32x44 cm and 20x26 cm but since last year it si available in 56x76cm.

    regards
     
  19. philsweeney

    philsweeney Member

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    I would like to try the COT 320. But for 8 x 10 negatives I wish there were other sizes available. I don't want to buy 11 x 14 for 8 x 10. Seems my coating job will have to be perfect if I use a 8 x 10 paper for a 8 x 10 negative!
     
  20. Annie

    Annie Member

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    Phil,

    The COT-320 is available in 24x30cm from various European suppliers... (I believe Lotus carries it) that would give you a nice little border for your 8x10 negatives.

    Cheers Annie
     
  21. philsweeney

    philsweeney Member

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    I had such good dmax with the strathmore watercolor 400 (after an oxalic acid presoak), but on the printed test tablets you could see the texture of the paper too much, as Annie pointed out. Seems the backside is better - not as much texture. I thought I'd try to soak the paper (to soften it) and roll on it with pvc pipe (or rolling pin), to hopefully flatten more. Should I soak it for hours and does anyone think this may work?
     
  22. psvensson

    psvensson Member

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    I discovered recently that concentrated household bleach will take the emulsion right off paper. The process looks quite spectacular on color paper - the bleach dislodges little dots of color that swirl off like a sandstorm. I don't know if this affects the longevity of the paper, but it may be worth a shot.
     
  23. philsweeney

    philsweeney Member

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    I soaked the paper for 24 hours and pressed with a plastic coated rolling pin. Then I soaked in oxalic acid. This did flatten the paper some. Next I am going to try 150 degree water for a couple of minutes. If that helps I can do a soak and oxalic acid soak in one trip to the darkroom.