what paper for Ware's New Cyanotype?

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by amuderick, Feb 25, 2009.

  1. amuderick

    amuderick Member

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    Mike Ware recommends Buxton or Silversafe, neither of which are available at reasonable prices in the USA (Ruscombe Mill is $18/sheet). I tried Arches Platine but got horrible reaction (sensitizer turned to green/blue). I fixed this with citric acid but still get a terrible speckled effect from bad absorption (even after adding some Photo-Flo).

    I know this is the Platine paper causing the problem because when I coat an old sheet of Crane's 100% Cotton resume paper, I get a very smooth, consistent tone (this paper is too thin and falls apart in the wash, but it is smooth ;-)

    So, what is the best paper to use for a reasonable price? Or, am I stuck using $18/sheet paper? I am looking for something smooth that will maximize the resolution of the final print. Thank you!

    P.S. It seems like the New Cyanotype formula doesn't respond to Hydrogen Peroxide as original cyanotype. Have others found this to be true?
     
  2. Jerevan

    Jerevan Subscriber

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    Try sizing with gelatin if you want smoother tones. It may also help with the speckling effect, as the solution does not come into contact with the paper.
     
  3. doughowk

    doughowk Subscriber

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    I like Crane's Weston Diploma Parchment - smooth texture yielding good detail. And tea-toning gives good results. Also, btw, its inexpensive too.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 25, 2009
  4. Lukas Werth

    Lukas Werth Member

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    New Cyanotype is very sensitive to paper, and gelatine sizing will not help.
    I second the Weston doploma... I tried once the first batch when the paper was newly announced, and it worked beautifully. (New Cyanotype is my way of testing paper: if this process works, others will also.)
    You may bring a range of other papers into service, however, by pre-coating them with citric acid (try a 40% solution).
     
  5. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

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    I just did it with really old sensitizer with ClearPrint Vellum. Worked great and a very different look
     
  6. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    I use Bienfang 360. But I have whole flat files full of drafting vellum, I'll have to give that a try.
     
  7. Jerevan

    Jerevan Subscriber

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    Okay, I won't argue against that. I've got only limited experiences with Whatman HP and Buxton paper.
     
  8. amuderick

    amuderick Member

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    I had mixed citric acid into the sensitizer at the time of application as Mike Ware advised. I tried your advice of pre-coating the paper instead. That stopped the speckling issue. Thank you.

    I'm still not getting a lot of adhesion though. There is a lot of wash-off of Prussian Blue in the wash. This results in shadows that are not very dark. And, H2O2 seems to have no effect at immediately restoring some density (like it does with original cyanotype).

    Well, I bought some Arches Bright White Hot Press and Bright White Cold Press to experiment. That's all they had at the local art store. Both have gelatin sizing. Maybe I'll have to sport for the Weston Diploma Parchment.

    Any other tips are appreciated. Once I have these issues solved, I can start toning and tweaking from there.
     
  9. matthewbetcher

    matthewbetcher Member

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    where can you still find the weston diploma paper? I've been looking and can't find it anywhere...
     
  10. amuderick

    amuderick Member

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    I tried the Arches Aquarelle 90lb Bright White Hot Press tonight.

    First attempt: Sensitize paper (New Cyanotype + tiny drop of photo-flo) turned green after 5 minutes. Fail.
    Second attempt: Bath paper in citric acid bath for 5 minutes. Dry. Coat with sensitizer. Turned green. Fail.
    Third attempt: Precoat with 40% Citric Acid w/v solution. Dry. Coat with New Cyanotype + tiny drop of photo-flo.
    - didn't turn green
    - no mottle or speckle in final image
    - citric acid overcoat made even coating of sensitizer harder to do
    - still some wash-off of Prussian Blue
    - final density not so good (worse than regular cyanotype)
    - my fingerprints would lift the Prussian Blue off the paper while it was wet.
    - densities were better than Arches Platine. Absorption was better than Platine.

    Hmmm.....

    Buxton paper is out of stock until fall. Weston Diploma seems to be gone. Ideas on a non-buffered paper I might try?
     
  11. Lukas Werth

    Lukas Werth Member

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    I have not tried Arches Aquarelle for a long time. I have never been very successful with this paper, but that was then (probably at least 6-7 years back). The issue of density is serious. For me at least, tonality should be first-rate, just like a platinum print, only in blue, or is it not worth it.

    Try tween 20 instead of fotoflo, or leave it all out. I actually found Saunders Waterford HP a good paper, but *only after a citric pre-coat*. I sometimes neutralize paper before in a 1% hydrochl. acid bath (which has to be washed out afterwards!), this often makes the paper more receptive, but I still need the citric pre-coat (though less of it).
    How do you apply the first acid bath? Try not to pour it over the picture, but pout the acid first into a tray considerably larger than the paper, tilt the tray to move the acid to one side, carefully place the paper in that part of the tray not covered by the acid - make it stick somewhat to the wet ground - then swiftly move the tray into an even position, if necessary, lifting it in one move there were the acid was when it was tilted, so that the acid floods in an even move over the paper. Rock only very gently, and wash the paper also very gently (face down, gentle water flow only at the back), possibly add a little bit vinegar into the water. If you still observe flakes of blue coming off, you need to do something about your paper base (see above).
    Once the paper is dry, the blues will be stable (provided you don't sprinkle some alkali on them).
     
  12. Davec101

    Davec101 Member

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    Are you guys making up your Cyanotype II solution or buying it premade and if so where from? I have been using Fabriano Rospina with very little problems over the last 5 years, very cheap 25 sheets for £16 although i have bought my sensitiser pre-made. I am now trying to make my own and having quite a few problems with the Fabriano, all sorts of speckles, uneven coating etc... Have just bought 1/2 Kg of Ammonium Iron (III) Oxalate and am will be making some more batches of sensitiser over the next few days to try and solve the problems.
     
  13. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    Are you making the traditional sensitiser?

    Tom.
     
  14. Davec101

    Davec101 Member

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    No Cyanotype II.
     
  15. Lukas Werth

    Lukas Werth Member

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    Sorry to answer so late, I have been without internet access for some time.
    I have always made my own sensitizer (trad. and new).