View Full Version : Cyanotype on Glass

07-11-2011, 02:10 PM
Finally have had success on printing a cyanotype image onto glass. I have been working on this over that past year in trying to create a suitable subbing for glass and plexiglass that did not utilize gelatin and require hardening. With some valuable help from Bill and his PVA recipie I was able to finally get an image onto glass.

Process is relatively simple and once the image is on and the PVA cured by baking in the oven at 250 degrees it is not easily coming off.

I mixed up a solution of Kuraray R-1110, a silated 100% hydrolized PVA, and coated a sheet of glass. Let the coated glass dry overnight and then baked in the over for 30 minutes, once the glass cooled I coated 12" square with 4ml of cyanotype emulsion that had 3 drops of tween 20 added. Once that dried I exposed for my normal cyanotype exposure, washed and baked again for 10 minutes.

Really bad scan of the image, too big to fit on scanner bed. Image is of a IFS fractal :)


07-11-2011, 02:32 PM
Very interesting, congratulations.

As a matter of interest : why do you exclude subbing that needs gelatin and/or hardening ?

07-11-2011, 05:24 PM
I personally dislike working with gelatin and the mechanisms used to harden gelatin. Trying to keep the number and toxic chemicals in the lab to a minimum. One of the biggest complaints I have is that gelatin solution and working surface must be hot to work with it and wanted to find something that I could pull from the cabinet and go. There are other issues with gelatin as well that I wanted to resolve.

Cyanotype is just the beginning and an inexpesive process to experiment with. Ultimately I desire to make platinum prints on glass and platinum does not agree with gelatin.


07-13-2011, 12:07 AM
Man! I have tried many, many ways to print Pt/Pd/Au/pigments on glass. And ALMOST NOTHING works well ! Try coating gelatin with Pt/FO. A big mess. I developed the "home made" silane treated PVA that I have described on this forum. But nothing has ever worked as well for me as Kuraray R-Polymer. Brush it on the glass (10% aquious solution -no hardener) dry it, then brush with Pd/Pt/Au or pigment, with the apropriate sensitizer, then expose,develope and clear. No fuss, no muss. Gelatin is a mysterious animal derivative. I have read much, trying to find out just 'What the Hell is Gelatin?" The trueth is- No one realy knows! The stuff changes when you breath on it. And how it changes depends on what you had to drink three hours ago. Besides that, even when hardened, on glass gelatin remains soft and relatively easy to remove from the hard, smooth surface.

Jim Graves
07-15-2011, 06:21 PM
Bill ... what's your source for the Kuraray R-Polymer? And, I'm assuming, when you say 10% aqueous solution you are saying 90% water and 10% Kuraray (I'm not good at this chemistry stuff!!) Also, a few more other questions ... what's your preferred brush? ... is there a temperature that is best for this? ... air dried? ... time for drying? ... also assuming this would work for Carbon onto glass? Thanks, Jim (met you at Vaughn's Yosemite Carbon workshop.)

07-15-2011, 06:54 PM
Of course, I rember you! You were the good looking guy there. Your assumption is correct. 10%=90.0g water+10g.0g polymerr. Requires heating to at leat 90C+agitation+time. As solid polymers go, its one of the slowest to disolve that I have had.. Prefered brush= none. I like to pour it on, then drain verticaly. But you could use a new foam brush. You do not need a thick coating. I tend to go for the thinest I can get. But I do multi layers and dilute my APt/AFO 1/3 with water. I coat at ambient temperature, then bake at 225F F for 30 minutes.
If you go to www.kuraray-am.com you will find contacts to email a request for a sample. They will email a sample request form. They will send a 1# sample. Minimum order is 20kg. But B&S has ordered a sack and will be supplying it. Cost for a 20kg sack from kuraray-am is about $150. I know that B&S will charge a hefty mark-up. But 20kg is a lot to have around the house.
Good to hear from you again,