Well, this thread stimulated me to try out the Ware/Malde method this weekend. It turns out I have all the raw materials necessary to mix up the solutions for making palladium prints using their method. To top it all off, the weather here in Houston was that just-before-the-front-blows-through mugginess that keeps the ambient humidity at a nice 55% or so.
So I mixed up the chemicals and made my first print with a negative I have printed before. I coated, allowed it to completely air dry to an RH of 47%. Wow! Very nice deep brown tones. So I'm feeling pretty smart after one print. I make another. Whoa! This one is neutral and weak. What gives? Same on print #3. I chalk it up to Saturday exhaustion, and some slightly lower contrast negatives on the second two prints.
Sunday comes and I make a print with a negative that I have deliberately made with a higher DR. (you don't want to know how, at least on this forum). The ambient humidity is 55% - perfect warm brown color - almost a walnut color. Again, first print - WOW! This process really seems to like some beefy, high DR negatives. Now I see if I can duplicate it with a second print. The RH has crept up to 58%. I allow it to completely dry to ambient humidity (again, now 58%). Neutral black, but tonally very nice.
Lessons learned - (big man here, with 7 prints under his belt!!)
1) This process is incredibly sensitive to humidity. I was stunned that a 3% change in RH would change the print tonality that much. If you value consistency, then a controllable humidification chamber would be a must.
2) Exposure is easy, since it is a printing out process. Just cook and look.
3) Single coating gives very nice Dmax prints. Mine measure 1.4 with no effort at all.
4) No developer to futz around with. This was nice for me, as I had just done an absolute Gumbie thing the night before and poured my 2 liters of Potassium Oxalate back into a hypo-clear jug. (Dumb way to waste some $$)
Summary: For the casual user who can get a humid workspace, and does not care too much about repeatable print color, this is a nice easy way to go. All you need are a very few chemicals and a printing frame and some sunshine. For serious workers who need repeatable print color and contrast, this process is a little wild.