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  1. #1

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    Japanese paper - to gelatin or not to gelatin?

    Hi everyone,

    I would like to try and make my own papers so I bought some Rollei RBM3 Variable Contrast liquid emulsion. I also bought some Fabriano paper and some beautiful natural Japanese papers. The Japanese paper is much thinner, but not as flimsy as rice paper. It's like normal paper, if not a little thicker. Should I use gelatin on it first or not?

    Many thanks.

  2. #2

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    I'm very curious about this and hoping someone chimes in. I long ago found a few photos printed on Japanese paper by a commercial photographer back in the late 1930s. They were his Happy New Year greeting cards for friends. Quite beautiful. I'd like to give it a try myself.

  3. #3

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    I had two sheets and decided to coat one of them with gelatin. The paper is thick enough, but quite cottony. I had to coat it very carefully otherwise it would fluff a bit. It is so beautiful and feels like raw silk. It's warm and tinted yellow. I actually wanted to make albumen prints with silver nitrate, but I can't wait. So I'll coat one sheet with the liquid emulsion and the other with albumen.

    I will post back results. :-)

    Still, if anyone else would like to chime in here, please do.

  4. #4

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    wow, i'm pretty excited about these results. sounds like much fun.

    on a tangent... what's the most interesting/nicest things either one of you has coated with silver gelatin?

  5. #5
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghostman View Post
    Hi everyone,

    I would like to try and make my own papers so I bought some Rollei RBM3 Variable Contrast liquid emulsion. I also bought some Fabriano paper and some beautiful natural Japanese papers. The Japanese paper is much thinner, but not as flimsy as rice paper. It's like normal paper, if not a little thicker. Should I use gelatin on it first or not?

    Many thanks.
    This is only my personal opinion, but if you are using nice papers like Fabriano and natural Japanese papers, I would tend to stick to processes that don’t require a gelatin coating. Once you introduce this, you destroy the original paper texture and integrity.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  6. #6

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    I am inclined to agree with you Clive. The texture is much like raw silk and is very beautiful to the eye and to the touch. I coated about 10 pieces of about 5x7 size. I used the bottom end of the gelatin ratio so it is very thin and just seems to shore up the paper and give it a slight sheen. The texture is very much present. I have no idea what the liquid emulsion will feel or look like. I am looking forward to it though.

    Which processes do you recommend researching? I am only familiar with this liquid emulsion or albumen/silver nitrate printing.

    Many thanks for the feedback.

  7. #7
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghostman View Post
    I am inclined to agree with you Clive. The texture is much like raw silk and is very beautiful to the eye and to the touch. I coated about 10 pieces of about 5x7 size. I used the bottom end of the gelatin ratio so it is very thin and just seems to shore up the paper and give it a slight sheen. The texture is very much present. I have no idea what the liquid emulsion will feel or look like. I am looking forward to it though.

    Which processes do you recommend researching? I am only familiar with this liquid emulsion or albumen/silver nitrate printing.

    Many thanks for the feedback.
    The easiest ones to try would be Cyanotype, Van Dyke brown or Photogrenic drawing. If you wish to have a go with any of these, let me know and I will PM you a how to do it.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  8. #8

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    I have a friend who is very into cyanotypes and am considering attending one of his workshops. As for Van Dyle brown and Photogenic drawing, I would very much appreciate any information you have to pass on.

  9. #9
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    I'm using liquid emulsion on rough Fabriano Artistico paper. I don't use gelatin, for the reason both you, and Clive, mention. After printing, I'm using oils and pencils on them, and want the texture to be a part of the image:

    Click image for larger version. 

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by eddie View Post
    I'm using liquid emulsion on rough Fabriano Artistico paper. I don't use gelatin, for the reason both you, and Clive, mention. After printing, I'm using oils and pencils on them, and want the texture to be a part of the image:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	nude16.jpg 
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ID:	69328 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Scan 15.jpg 
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ID:	69329
    Liquid emulsion contains gelatin.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

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