Toned Cyanotypes and longevity - the window cill test

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by jimread, Jul 15, 2006.

  1. jimread

    jimread Member

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    I recently took to toning Cyanotypes and read in another thread that using Tannic acid to do so may result in a permanent print.

    I am doing some tests partly in direct sunlight and so far the results are very encouraging.

    Anyone interested can see them at;
    http://www.jrbham.btinternet.co.uk/archival/index.html

    Regards - Jim
     
  2. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    Wonder if it would work with other weak acids such as citric? Keep up the experiments, it is looking very interesting.
     
  3. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    Jim

    At the web-link, you say that cyanotypes fade in sunlight within days. I have an untoned cyanotype, made two years ago, hanging right next to a window with no signs of decay. Are you sure nothing went wrong with the first print?
    Tea-toning supposedly increases cyanotype life-expectancy. But can archival stability proven with a 1-month window-sill test?

    Otherwise, the image is great!
     
  4. jimread

    jimread Member

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    Dear Ralph,

    The blue Cyanotype I referred to was in direct sunlight shining onto the image.

    But can archival stability proven with a 1-month window-sill test?

    Obviously not that is why the test will continue. Having conducted tests on some silver/gelatin and Kallitype images and witnessed fading within days makes me think that the tannic acid toning of Cyanotypes may turn out to be one the most permanent of processes.

    One should bear in mind that a watercolour painting will fare even worse than an inkjet print done with cheapo inks and crap paper. Selling my prints is why I make them and why I make the point about the watercolours, and further to that, it doesn't stop people buying them.

    BUT I do find the idea of a permanent print SO interesting:smile:

    Regards - Jim


    You're supposed to have a little homily here but I couldn't see anything to add one so I'll do it manually;

    There are only three things in life worth doing, art food and work, the order is merely alphabetical and if you can combine the first and the last ............
     
  5. jimread

    jimread Member

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    Ralph,

    I forgot to say thanks for the comment about the image :smile:

    It sells quite well.

    Jim
     
  6. psvensson

    psvensson Member

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    Mike Ware tested the lightfastness of several cyanotype processes for his monograph. He found that in general the first exposure is the only one that leaves a lasting reduction in density, and that of only a few percent - the rest is restored by aerial oxidation in darkness. When the print is exposed to light again, it fades, but that fading is completely restored in darkness. He doesn't seem to be of the opinion that cyanotypes need special protection against light, and he's worked with many old prints. He doesn't seem to have tested toned prints for light fading.