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  1. #1

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    Mixing lamp black powder with water for carbon print tissue

    Hi,

    I want to start to experiment with carbon printing, so I've ordered gelatin, alcohol and lamp black powder from local alternative photography store.
    I'm still waiting for the package but I've started to wondering how I'm going to mix soot with water and gelatin?
    I guess it's not going to be simplest thing in the process. Is there any easy way to do this or should I leave it and buy tube with ivory black watercolor paint?

  2. #2

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    First make a paste of the lampblack and then thin this with water as needed, If you just dump lampblack in water it will float on the surface and not mix with the water. Many powdered chemicals that are not easily wet by water do this. Another example would be powdered boric acid.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

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  3. #3

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    Hello,

    Making a good dispersion of the black is indeed essential for carbon printing.
    I use a glass plate and a “glass muller” (from art supply). For carbon printing I use the glycerin to make the dispersion. It is a little more viscous.

  4. #4
    Andrew O'Neill's Avatar
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    Since you are just starting out, my advice to you would be to forget about soot for now and go with lamp black water colour paint, or even easier, India ink.

  5. #5

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    India ink seems easiest way to start. Will it be a problem if it's mixed with shellac? I can see only such ones here in Poland.

    Edit:
    I see I can buy Winsor & Newton: "Liquid Indian Ink which is the traditional formula of the Chinese sticks and is not water-proof, and Black Indian Ink which uses a shellac binder".
    I understand Liquid Indian Ink without shellac should be better or it doesn't really matter?
    Last edited by grzybu; 03-05-2014 at 02:46 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  6. #6
    paul_c5x4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grzybu View Post
    I see I can buy Winsor & Newton: "Liquid Indian Ink which is the traditional formula of the Chinese sticks and is not water-proof
    If you can get the Winsor & Newton Indian Ink, I would recommend using it - When I have done carbon printing in the past, I have had excellent results with it.

    edit: W&N also do a range of Calligraphy inks which are not waterproof - might be worth looking at if you want a colour other than black.
    Last edited by paul_c5x4; 03-05-2014 at 04:23 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  7. #7

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    Do you mean Liquid Indian Ink which is not waterproof (without shellac) or Black Indian Ink with shellac?
    Liquid Indian Ink seems more reasonable because it seems to contain only carbon and water.

  8. #8
    richard ide's Avatar
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    Use the ink with no shellac. A better choice would be lamp black watercolour as there is a much higher amount of pigment and very little liquid.
    Richard

    Why are there no speaker jacks on a stereo camera?

  9. #9

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    OK, thanks. I'm still waiting for other stuff needed for making tissues, but now at least I know what pigment to buy in artist supply store.

  10. #10
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    I find watercolor paint in tubes to be a very easy material to work with. Someday I will have to try the various inks. It has been 16 or so years since I have used Sumi ink...first bottle was great, the second bottle clumped and gave grainy images so I stopped using it.

    I use it by the gram -- the liquid ink can probably be used by volume, but by weight is easy if one has a decent scale.

    The watercolors are nice because the pigments are already nicely ground and evenly dispersed in gum arabic. I measure out the amount I need in the plastic 35mm film containers, then add about 20ml of warm water, put on the lid and give it a good shake. I leave it for awhile (while the gelatin is being prepared) and by the time I need to pour it into the gelatin, it is nicely mixed with the water. Sometimes I will add a little alcohol to the container to get rid of bubbles from the shaking before I add it to the gelatin. Watercolors are also nice for slight adjustments of color. I sometimes add a little Burnt Sienna to the lampblack to warm it up a little.
    At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.

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