Drying fibre on glass
...just started printing on glossy MGIV fibre with encouraging results, but I was wondering about drying the prints by taping to glass. Which way up do I tape them ? I tried a couple face up and they dried with a sort of satin / pearl finish. Then I tried face down but the print was sticking when I came to remove it. But, apart from the areas where it had stuck, it had dried with a much glossier surface. Did I just remove it too soon, does the stickiness not occur if the print is completely dry ? ( I had left it overnight in an unheated loft - ie the darkroom - having first wiped off excess water) ??
Dry emulsion out and you get the same surface as screen drying. Never dry emulsion against glass.
To get a super gloss similar to RC glossy, dry emulsion in on proper ferrotype plates. I believe you need a perfectly plate and a chemical or wetting agent on the print. The print is rolled against the plate and allowed to dry and will pop off when drying is complete. Foreign material and less than clean plates cause all kinds of trouble with sticking prints.
Back in the dark ages (ie, 1960s and before), it was common to dry glossy FB paper on "ferrotype" sheets - basically, highly polished chrome-plated sheets of metal that were first coated with a wax to prevent sticking. The result was a very high-gloss surface. Today, you can get that same effect by using glossy RC paper.
It was not unusual for younger, cash-strapped photographers to attempt to achieve the ferrotyped-glossy surface by drying prints on glass. And it was also not unusual for them to find that these attempts failed because of the problem you encountered - sticking. I suppose that the use of an appropriate wax would overcome that problem - fortunately, my preference was always for the satin effect of air-dried glossy paper so I never tried to dry on glass (although I did share the other characteristic - poverty!).
One of the other problems with drying on glass that wax would not solve was scratches - if the glass was scratched, then no amount of wax would prevent sticking.
So the answer to your question is that choice of face up or face down really is based on what you are trying to achieve - if you want the satin air-dried glossy appearance, the the prints should be attached emulsion-side up, but if you want the high-gloss surface, then they should be face-down.
HelenB says she used to be one of those cash-strapped photo students who "ferrotyped" on glass and had some success with it. Maybe she'll come in with some suggestions.
If what you want is for the prints to dry flat, then dry them on screens or in blotters, and then press them in a dry mount press.
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What kind of tape?
I've tried drying fiber prints on glass, but can't find a good tape which will hold the paper as it dries - usually one side + one top gets loose and the paper winds up curling. I've tried "Scotch Artist Tape for Watercolor Paper" (not good), Carpet Tape, Duct Tape.... probably some others.
What is a good tape to use for this procedure?
Artist Tape for Watercolor Paper (though not from Scotch, but the local artists-supply-store) does the trick for me. My procedure is:
Originally Posted by jmedlock
1) Wash the fibre print thoroughly
2) Leave it to drip for 20 seconds
3) Put it on the glass plate (emulsion side up)
4) Squeegee the surface to get rid of redundant water (make sure there is no rubbish on either the squeegee, the glass and the print)
5) Just leave the print there for 20 minutes or so (it won't start curling as it is still wet)
6) Take the tape, lick it on the 'sticky side' and paste it on al four sides, making sure that it is firmly pressed against both the glass and the picture (so no air-bubbles or something).
7) Leave it to dry horizontally (I tried my bedroom windows. But that didn't work as too much water dripping over the tape at the bottom made the tape come off... this won't happen when you dry the print horizontal).
Works good for me, the only slight dis-advantage is that the paper cannot return to its original size... hence my 24x30,5cm papers usually turn out as 24,5x30,5cm.
You actually don't tape them
In the old ages (no ferrotyping plates) what we used to do was having a couple of clean pieces of glass, clean them with talcum powder and then with alcohol.
Once the glass was clean, you put your wet (but not soaking wet) paper with the emulsion down (towards the glass), and use a sponge of roller to eliminate air bubbles.
Kodak and AGFA papers of that time used to "pop" when dry and the prints had a nice gloss to them. Forte papers (Fortezo) did the same thing.
Haven't used this method with Ilford papers.
Cleanliness was the main concern, and the use of baby powder or talcum powder to "scrub" the glass before hand was a great trick.
Haven;t used that method in a long time though
Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb
Mama took my APX away.....
Thanks for the tips :the emulsion-up dried prints are perfectly acceptable, but I was intrigued by the high gloss effect of the emulsion-down ones. The tape I've been using holds the prints ok (I have to make sure the glass is wet enough because the tape only becomes sticky when dampened - not sure what its called - wide & brown from an art shop).