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Thread: Fiber Paper

  1. #1
    David Ruby's Avatar
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    A couple nights ago, while printing a few landscape shots, I succumbed to the tempation in my paper drawer and printed a couple tests on some old Kodak Polyfiber that a friend gave me.

    Needless to say, this was my first attempt with fiber paper. To be honest, I haven't even seen it before this.

    I have to say it's pretty cool stuff, and a lot different than the RC paper I typically use. I can't believe how thin it is. Anyway.....I was wondering, by the looks of this box of paper, it is quite old and who knows what it's been through. Being lazy, and just wanting to experiment a bit, I used the settings that I had determined for a good print on RC. The first print came out very very light. I tried again and doubled it. This one came out pretty good actually. I don't know the cause, but the paper must have been fogged or been exposed to heat because the edges are a bit stained/fogged. The affect is pretty cool to be honest. The prints look like I dug them up in an Indiana Jones adventure or something. Does anyone have any thoughts on what would cause that fog look? And, my prints curled like crazy when I hung them up. Now they are pretty brittle feeling. Can I rescue them, and/or what is a better way to dry them if I try it again? Thanks.

  2. #2

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    Well, fiber curls no matter what. Although wash out tape can fix that (but be prepared to loose a border around the whole image when you cut it out).

    As to the other stuff....

    Probably an age issue.
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    Some paper is more prone to fogging than others. I have some Agfa Record Rapid, long since discontinued that I bought in 1982 that prints just fine, whereas I have some old Kodak and Sterling paper that shows a high level of fog and that paper is about 5 years old.

    You can try to keep the fog at bay by adding some potassium bromide to the print developer. Make a solution of 2 grams of bromide mixed with a liter of water. Make a test print, if fogged add a couple of cc's and try again, keep going until hopefully you get a fog free print. There is no guarantee this will work and really will depend on the paper, its age and how it has been stored. But maybe worth a try.

    - Mike

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    David,
    I use mostly fiber paper, because I love it so much and there is a lot more tone between white and black than in RC paper. I use RC paper only to proof print.

    For drying I use sheets of glass on which I tape the fiber prints with 'water colour tape' (paper tape that sticks when wet). I leave an extra wide white border in order to be able to stick them down with the tape (overlap of about 2 cm).

    However, I don't stick the prints down immediately, but wait approximately half an hour after I have smoothed the prints down on the glass plate with a shammy. This is to avoid that the paper rips the tape (fiber paper is stronger than tape, and also shrinks whilst drying), and curling like h***!

    Good luck!
    Anne Marieke

  5. #5
    lee
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    Annemarieke,
    This seems like your method for drying takes a lot of work. Plus, space. How many prints do you keep from a printing session? I went to the home store and bought 6 window screens (already made) and I now can dry my prints after I squeegee them on a glass and I lay them down face down and don't touch them until they are dry. I can do 6 8x10's on each screen. I cannot imagine having 60 8x10's but I can get 5 11x14's on each screen is good. I made a rack for the screens to sit under my sink and out of the way.

    lee\c

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    Polyfiber is the stuff Mark Citret has done a series of photos on. He calls 'em "vellums." Lee and I saw some of these recently at the Afterimage Gallery in Dallas.

    http://afterimagegallery.com/citret.htm
    Three degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon.

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    Lee, you are right about my method being a lot of work, but the prints are totally flat.

    I normally don't keep more than 6 fiber prints from one session, and I can stick two prints (254x30cm) onto one large sheet of glass, so it is not too bad!

    I have heard about the method with window screens, but have never tried it.

    Anne Marieke

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    I do it when I work with things like papyrus. It really does. And in light of a hot press, it can be pretty useful.
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    ann
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    We built a rack for our lab that contains pre-made window screens. Each sceen will hold 8 8 X 10"s. And there are 12 screens. Every two years, I remove the old fiberglass and replace with new. Works great. When moving prints around I always feel like I am baking pizza.

  10. #10
    David Ruby's Avatar
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    I have a feeling I won't be doing a lot of fiber prints for awhile anyway. At my level, there just isn't enough difference to outweight the work involved.

    One the prints dry with curl in them, is there any way to flatten them out. I put these two tests into a fat book today to see if that helps at all.

    Are most (or all) prints that you see in galleries etc. on fiber? Does it tone better than RC paper? THanks.

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