I realize this thread is about 2 years old, but I just ran across it.
I use albumen from Eggology which I am able to buy in my local alternative food stores. SOme of the regular super markets also carry it.
Its superiority stems from the fact that it is kosher - absolutely nothing added to the chickens or the eggs.
The albumen is just like that from free range chickens and I am able to get fair gloss with a single coating.
you can use powdered egg whites also
Well, I couldn't take it any longer. I don't have any silver nitrate yet, but I do have eggs in the fridge and I have salt and I have water and I have acetic acid, so I "borrowed" my sweethearts Kitchenaid mixer, got her to teach me how to separate yolks and then I had at it.
It took about a minute to start a nice froth, and I left it whip for about three minutes until I could turn the bowl over without any falling out, covered it up and put it into the fridge to settle.
Further reports to follow ....
This is exciting ....
I wonder if it will settle faster if I watch the bowl ... :)
I followed Chads advice on the preservative agents in the albumen......two years ago. I got the same container out of the fridge just now and was a little afraid to open it up but I did and there is no bad odor at all! Still smells and looks fine after two years in the fridge. Now I'm getting the urge to print some. Did the paper curl when brushing?????? Sometimes when I would float the the paper on the albumen in the tray I felt like Curly from the Three Stooges pasting wallpaper. Remember that one?
Since I keep the albumen in the fridge, I decided I wanted it to be non-toxic, which also lets me mix it in ordinary kitchen stuff. For 1 liter egg whites (about 4 dozen eggs), I add 30g sea salt and 40ml distilled white vinegar. Seems okay with no odor after a month or so.
To keep it from curling in the tray, don't leave it in too long. It probably depends on the paper and relative humidity, but I just float it for 30 seconds (no longer than a minute) usually.
What do you think of the four points Aggie made?
This morning, I removed the cover from the whipped eggwhites, spooned off the froth and filtered the liquid thru' a linen cloth. What I got was a fairly clear liquid.
I headed out to a local arts supply store (Wallacks fyi) where the store manager asked me what process I was attempting and then proceeded to show me Stonehenge and Arches papers. I now have a couple of samples to try coating with the albumen liquid.
Nest week I'll order up the items needed for the sensitizing and give it a try.
Two things :
1) The store manager seem quite familiar with the albumen printing process even though he had not done it himself and offered up the thought that it might not be long before traditional photographers and artists were shopping in the same stores. He opined that traditional photographers were being marginalised in much the same way the traditional artists have been by reduced support from their usual lines of supply.
2) I'm sorry (for myself) that Aggies comments were deleted. She usually has something good to offer.
John Coffer claims that your albumen solution can be made up and frozen until your ready to use. He claims this doesn't have any adverse effects. We have a local farm that raises free range eggs and these are truly free range and not what the poultry industry claims to be free range. I started buying from them for making albumen but now we buy all our eggs for consumption and our chicken also from them. If you read the reports about free range eggs you'll see how much more healthy they are for you. Of course the cheesecake made from all the yolks don't help the waistline much but it sure is tasty.