Strathmore Bristol question
I made a VDB print on Strathmore Bristol today for the first time and noticed a couple things.
1. About a minute after the first coat the coating darkened quite a bit. Before the hair dryer on cold setting. I coated in my usual place with the same incandesant lighting as always and I've never had this happen with any other prints.
2. During the wet processing through the clearing, fixing and washing there were very noticeable blotches or spots on the paper. On dry down they went away somewhat but not totally. My clearing was done in slight citric acid.
Could these be paper characteristics? Can a paper cause fogging?
Any ideas on this?
I use this paper for Cyanotype, and I love it, but I've heard from Sam Wang that the new batches may be useless for alternative processes due to changes. I have never seen the types of problems you mentioned, but if you are using the newer version of this paper - and sorry, I can't tell you how to tell the difference - it could be due to the paper. Splotches could also be from uneven coating or contamination, but someone more skilled than I will have to be more specific on that issue.
I use Strathmore Bristol Plate single ply for albumen and have never had a spotting problem. In fact, I love the paper.
I agree that there could have been some kind of a coating problem. Perhaps as simple as something inadvertently splashing on the paper prior to or during coating.
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Good point Jim. I've has odd blotches when I accidentaly got a drop of water on my paper and didn't notice it before coating. I suspect that it dillutes the emulsion even though it is hard to see and the result is blotching. Could you post an example?
Randy, Are you asking me to post the print? I can do that for discussion purposes if it's ok. Let me know if that's what you were referring to and I will post it.
The print I made was on the first sheet in the pad and I guess it's possible that sheet got contaminated even before I bought it. I still have half of that sheet left and I thought I would put it in a clearing bath to see what happens UNcoated.
Jim, Is Strathmore Bristol Plate a different paper than Strathmore Bristol in a pad? This paper seems to be 2 ply but I really didn't pay that much attention.
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I just ran a half sheet UNcoated plain paper through a clearing bath, approx. 1L with 1/8 tsp citric acid, and after a couple minutes it started to get blotchy looking. So I guess the paper getting wet is causing the spots. This is probably a newer batch of paper as mentioned above by Randy.
I edited this post to add a photo of what I was seeing. It was difficult to get a good image. The darker splotches as seen in this photo are actually more like blotchy stains on the paper, but very evident.
Last edited by buggy; 05-12-2006 at 02:37 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: to add photo
I've used Strathmore for cyanotype before, and have had blotches show up. Mostly on their heavier stock water color. Their 90 lb paper is my favorite though. It seems to do well with cyanotype better than the heavier stock.
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I have coated VDB, Silver gelatin and cyanotype on Strathmore Bristol and find no problems.
Bristol board, or paper, is a plated paper (it used to be placed wet against a metal plate to dry, just like ferrotype prints, but this process may now be accomplished through the use of heavy, heated rollers) that is heavily sized for ink and fine pencil work. It is not really made with wet media in mind. A particular brand may work very well due to the sizing material used- often starch or gelatin. Another brand may not work at all. It is not made to be soaked.
Print making paper, such as Rives BFK, Copperplate or Arches Cover are great for soaking with liquid but may have too much texture for most photographers. Hot press watercolor paper from makers such as Arches, Fabriano, Saunders and Lana are a much better bet. These can be stretched, or glued pads (called blocks) can be used to keep the paper flat during any process. The hot press surface is very smooth. For an almost smooth surface, choose cold pressed- the equivalent to a "kid"finish on Bristol. Neither surface will change after application of liquid.
The blotching you experienced seems like it may be uneven sizing on the paper, leaving some parts far more absorbent than others.
Originally Posted by Whiteymorange
Strathmore Bristol appears to be hot press and compares with other hot press papers I have tested. Their watercolor appears to be cold press and as such appears to compare with other cold press papers.
Cold press papers have a marked difference between the wire and face side whereas hot press papers appear to have little difference.
In any event, I can use Strathmore Velour and Watercolor as well as the Bristol smooth.