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Thread: Toning with Tea

  1. #1

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    Toning with Tea

    This one is probably for Kerik. Toning with tea sounds interesting but what about the archival qualities ( with or without sweetener). Wondering if this is something that has been done thru the years or just recently.

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    Ole
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    Staining with tea has been done for a long time, and I don't think the "archivality" shold suffer much.

    The only process I know of where tea works as a toner is cyanotypes, where I believe archival qualities might in fact be improved.
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ole
    Staining with tea has been done for a long time, and I don't think the "archivality" shold suffer much.

    The only process I know of where tea works as a toner is cyanotypes, where I believe archival qualities might in fact be improved.

    How does the color change from toning with tea?

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    Here is an example of a tea stained photo that I did for my daughter. I have used a strong chinese tea and immersed the FB print in it for 15min. Hope this helps

    Tea stained photo

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    Toning with tea is not actually toning. Instead, it is a form of staining.

    In "toning", the color of the silver image is changed. In "staining", the color of the paper is changed.

    For examples of tea staining, check out Tom Baril's flower book - I think it was called "Botanicals".

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    Hey Ole,
    Does the tea actually tone the cyanotypes, meaning change the cyan tone?

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    Ole
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    Brook, it really does tone cyanotypes. The blue changes to a steely black, or deep brown in slightly alkaline solution. I think there's one of mine in the galleries - partially Lipton'ed...

    -----------

    No there isn't. I'll have to rectify that - when I get home, unless I've left it on the net somewhere.

    Found it! HERE.
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

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    Ole, now you have me iching to give it a try! Any other advice? Do you tone with dried prints? Any favorite tea recipies/ dilutions? I am in the middle of coating some paper for van dykes, I think I will add in a few sheets of cyanotypes and give a whirl.
    Thanks for the idea!
    Brook

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    Ole
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    Good strong tea is fine, I have heard that Earl Grey-types are no good but haven't tested that. Same for "herbal" types - not enough tannins, I guess.

    I used 2 bags in 1/2 liter of hot water; leave teabags in until the brew has cooled.

    If your water is alkaline you may get a browner result than I get with Norwegian tapwater, which can be quite acidic at times. If so, adjust pH with citric acid (think "lemon"). Put print in, agitate, watch. Sometimes the toning works faster than the staining, maybe it depends on the paper. You can get pink highlights and blue-black shadows, or shades of brown, or tan highlights and almost neutral blacks.
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

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    Toning with tea is a nifty trick, I've found that cheap-o tea tones better, since it has darker color and less flavor compounds.
    Tea actually stains the paper, and I believe that the tannins interact with the silver compounds.

    A while back (sometime in the early 90s) I did some tea stained prints (light yellow stained, not too dark) that were still good after 10+ years on display at my mom's house.

    IIRC i used 4 or 5 bags of tea in a liter of water to obtain a very dark infusion, let it cool down and inmerse the prints into it. After that a short wash in running water was all they needed.
    I have tested it on both FB and RC papers, generally the FB papers will take the stain better, but the Ilfospeed and Fortespeed did take it a lot slower.
    Mama took my APX away.....

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