Tips for brush-coating sensitizers?

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by circumstance, Jun 29, 2006.

  1. circumstance

    circumstance Member

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    Obviously it takes some practice, some skill, and trial-and-error.

    Any helpful tips?
     
  2. Joe Lipka

    Joe Lipka Member

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    Richeson 9010 series brushes are by far the best. Watch how many people agree with me.

    Make sure the paper is humidifed prior to coating. There are a number of ways to do this. A corollary is to make sure that your coating area is fairly humid.

    Ice Tea makes a wonderful practice liquid.

    First Post? Welcome to APUG.
     
  3. bill schwab

    bill schwab Advertiser Advertiser

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    Count me as one. I tried going on the cheap for awhile... rods, imitation synthetic brushes, etc. Finally dropped the $$ for the Richeson and haven't looked back. I use so much less sensitizer now as virtually nothing is absorbed into the brush. Go for it.

    Bill
     
  4. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    hear hear... the Richeson is about the smoothest, most efficient coating brush you can find. I can do an 8x10 pt/pd print with just 15 drops pt/pd and 15 sensitizer with a Richeson, on COT 320. Over the course of two bottles of pt/pd, you'll pay for the brush in chem savings.
     
  5. colrehogan

    colrehogan Member

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    I agree too.
     
  6. circumstance

    circumstance Member

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    I've heard about those brushes :smile:
    Why do you think humidity helps with the coating?

     
  7. colrehogan

    colrehogan Member

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    It helps the paper absorb the chemicals better and probably helps in getting an even application. I've tried coating down to 32% rel. humidity during the winter and my prints didn't work well below 35% (even with humidification). This is what I think, not necessarily what is the right answer to your question.
     
  8. Allen Friday

    Allen Friday Member

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    Humidity helps the paper to absorb the coating in an even, consistant manner. The analogy is to a sponge. If you take a dried out sponge from under the sink, it will not absorb much water. If you wet it and then wring it out, it absorbs more.

    I have a hard time printing pt. in the winter when the humidity in my dark room hits 20 to 30 percent. The emulsion just lays on top of the paper and gets pushed around. When that happens, I boil some water to up the humidity in the room and then I hold the paper over a humidifier for a few seconds--both front and back.
     
  9. John_Brewer

    John_Brewer Member

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    Ah, the Magic brush. A must have.

    J
     
  10. Michael Mutmansky

    Michael Mutmansky Member

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    Nope, I would not characterize the Richeson as 'by far the best', except if you are comparing it to only a Hake or rod. There are other very good synthetic wash brushes out there that work equally well, and to some people are superior.

    The only one other than the 9010 that I have experience with is the Simmons Skywash brush, but it does an equally good job. It takes a little different method, but otherwise is at least the equal to the 9010 in terms of coating quality.


    ---Michael
     
  11. Brook

    Brook Member

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    One more nod for the Ritcheson. Will save you lots of $$$ in the not so long run.
     
  12. CraigK

    CraigK Member

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    Richeson brush......mmmmmmmmm yes.

    Humidity......mmmmmmm bring it on!

    Here's a tip: Immediately after coating your paper, do NOT blast away at it with the hair dryer in an effort to speed up the drying. Oh sure, you'll get dry paper but if you force dry it right away, you risk getting a mottled look to the image. It is better to let the paper rest for at least a minute or two after your last brush stroke. This allows the paper fibres to fully absorb the sensitizer and usually produces a smoother image.
     
  13. cperez

    cperez Member

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    Michael,

    Could you hum a few more bars regarding how a Simmon Skywash requires a "different method"?

    While you're on the topic, what other synthetic brushes have been used successfully with Pt/Pd coating?

     
  14. Michael Mutmansky

    Michael Mutmansky Member

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    Chris,

    Well, it has a much longer and fuller bristle than the Richeson, so you have to be more careful about the brush slinging the solution around when you change directions. The Richeson has a fairly short and tightly bound set of bristles, so it tends to act much like a unit when wet, but the Simmons will act more 'brush-like' for want of a better word.

    Both are used wet and both seem to absorb very little solution if you load them with water properly beforehand.

    I know of one pt/pd printer who prefers the Simmons over the Richeson, and as I said, there is no qualitative difference in the resultant coating that I have been able to detect, given proper technique. I have and use both brushes, depending on the size of the print I am making.

    My point was that while the Richeson is a great brush, it is not by any means the only brush out there that will do the job well. I suspect that just about any high quality wash brush made with synthetic bristles may do a very good job.

    ---Michael
     
  15. cperez

    cperez Member

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    Michael,

    Thank you for the additional information.

    I visited an art supplier on my way home tonight. I noticed that there are several makers of synthetic brushes up to 4 inches across. They are all fairly stiff, seemingly well made, and offer varying sized fibers.

    In trying alternatives to the Magic Brush, are there properties one should consider important in the selection process? Stiffness? Width? ???

     
  16. Jordan

    Jordan Member

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    While we're talking about Richeson brushes, does anyone know of a source for them in Canada? My local art supply stores don't carry them (as far as I know!)
     
  17. bill schwab

    bill schwab Advertiser Advertiser

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    I've tried several other synthetic brushes including the Simmons and although I have been basically happy with them, they are all a bit more stiff than the "magic brush". There is something about the supple quality of the fibers in the Richeson that makes the coating a more delicate and smooth process. Although a personal choice, I would look for something less stiff and not too coarse. The less impact on the paper while brushing, the better. However, if you are looking for the "artistic' brushed border look, a more coarse or "fuller" bristle as MM said is better IMO. It gives more of a brushed look. As for width, I find that for prints up to 8x10 a 2 inch works fine for me.

    Hope this helps,

    Bill
     
  18. Joe Lipka

    Joe Lipka Member

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    You could try Jerry's Artarama on the web. They have very good prices. About shipping to Canada, you are probably more of an expert on that than me.

    http://www.jerrysartarama.com/
     
  19. RobertP

    RobertP Subscriber

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    Winsor Newton Sceptre Gold II Sable/Synthetic wash. I've used them both, the richeson and the sceptre and by far prefer the sable brush.
     
  20. cperez

    cperez Member

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    Brilliant! This and other comments are most illuminating. Thank you, all!!! :smile:


     
  21. Kerik

    Kerik Member

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    I've also used a DaVince wash brush, which works pretty well and is somewhat less expensive then the MB, but the MB is still my main axe.
     
  22. Eric Jones

    Eric Jones Member

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    What width brush do you guys recommend for coating 4x5 and 8x10 prints?
     
  23. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    for 4x5/5x7, you want a 1" brush. For 8x10 and larger, at least a 2". If you are doing 7x17 or 8x20 or larger, try to find a 3". Not a lot of places carry the 3" or 4" version, and they are PRICEY. The 2" and 1" are common and not so pricey.