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  1. #1

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    Cyanotype on glass?

    greetings!

    I do quite a bit of cyanotypes and have recently been considering the possibility of doing some on glass..

    When thinking (dreaming?) of doing this I am leaning more toward an ambrotype sort of image, taking my original 4x5 negative and reversing it to make the glass cyanotype 'negative' .. I would also try a 'normal' positive first before attempting a simulation of an ambrotype

    Has anyone around these parts tried this before?

    People who have coated glass, what kind of troubles in coating should I expect to need to overcome?

    I am guessing my most immediate problem will be the solution just washing off instantly in water.. If that isnt a problem, making a coating on the glass will be.. any ideas of how I might thicken up the emulsion? (albumen?!)

    any suggestions/warnings/naysaying would be useful !
    "Where is beauty? Where I must will with my whole Will; where I will love and perish, that an image may not remain merely an image."

  2. #2
    Donald Qualls's Avatar
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    I wouldn't expect cyanotype chemicals to adhere on plain glass. What I'd be inclined to try is a variant of cyanotype rex: coat the glass with gelatin (or albumen) carrying the ferric ammonium citrate or ferric ammonium oxalate, then develop in the potassium ferricyanide solution after exposure, before washing out the unexposed/unreacted salts in slightly acidic water. This *should* produce a cyanotype image embedded in the gelatin or albumen, and if the coating is well adhered on very clean glass, the result should be similar to a glass lantern slide, only in blue.

    As a bonus, the rex version of the process seems to be one to two stops faster than mixed-chemical traditional cyanotype.

    Can't make any useful suggestions on coating glass; look for information on making dry plates with liquid emulsion for lots of ways to make that go wrong (which, by elimination, ought to lead to a method of making it work pretty well).

    However, as a first approximation of an ambrotype, try making a perfectly ordinary 4x5 film negative, but underdeveloped by about 30%, then place it emulsion up on top of black velvet. The result won't be as bright as tintypes or ambrotypes processed with the inorganic developers of the day (ferrous sulfate, acetic acid, and grain alcohol were in the one formula I remember, producing an image considerably brighter than modern developers), but it's a good first approximation.
    Photography has always fascinated me -- as a child, simply for the magic of capturing an image onto glossy paper with a little box, but as an adult because of the unique juxtaposition of science and art -- the physics of optics, the mechanics of the camera, the chemistry of film and developer, alongside the art in seeing, composing, exposing, processing and printing.

  3. #3
    htmlguru4242's Avatar
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    I second Donald's idea. Getting the chems. to stick to the glass in the first place will be hard enough. They'll probably just wash off totally once you put it in the wash bath.

    The gelatine idea sounds like a great one, though.

  4. #4
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    Make up a 20% gelatin mixture (weight / weight) or 20 g of gelatin in a total of 100 g of solution by adding Distilled Water (DW).

    Make up your normal cyanotype solution.

    Mix 1 part of the gelatin solution with 1 part of the cyanotype, so that the cyanotype is 1/2 normal concentration and the gelatin is now 10% wt/wt.

    Coat using some conventional method such as a brush. I've used a brush and my coating blades both. You will have to use 2x the normal cyanotype coating level due to dilution effects and may have to add a surfactant.

    You probably will also have to add a hardener such as glyoxal.

    Dry, expose and process as normal and enjoy the results of your labor.

    Coating this on baryta support gives a particuarly beautiful glossy result.

    PE

  5. #5
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    I forgot to add a few things.

    1. A little alcohol helps coatings on glass plates. Everclear is a good choice for that. Add it to the gelatin mixture.

    2. The higher the ionic strength (the more concentrated the chemicals are) the less the adhesion to glass. Glass does not like to stick to ionic things. You might need a pure gelatin undercoat first before putting down the cyanotype.

    Best of luck.

    PE

  6. #6

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    thanks for the suggestions folks!

    this should be more than enough to get me started during the upcoming week

    I am excited to see what happens
    "Where is beauty? Where I must will with my whole Will; where I will love and perish, that an image may not remain merely an image."

  7. #7
    donbga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher Colley
    greetings!

    I do quite a bit of cyanotypes and have recently been considering the possibility of doing some on glass..

    When thinking (dreaming?) of doing this I am leaning more toward an ambrotype sort of image, taking my original 4x5 negative and reversing it to make the glass cyanotype 'negative' .. I would also try a 'normal' positive first before attempting a simulation of an ambrotype

    Has anyone around these parts tried this before?

    People who have coated glass, what kind of troubles in coating should I expect to need to overcome?

    I am guessing my most immediate problem will be the solution just washing off instantly in water.. If that isnt a problem, making a coating on the glass will be.. any ideas of how I might thicken up the emulsion? (albumen?!)

    any suggestions/warnings/naysaying would be useful !
    In my book, Galina Manikova is "THE" expert for printing alternative processes on glass, such as cyanotype or VDB.

    You can visit her website here:

    http://www.galina.no/


    Be warned though, you will need a good DSL connection since this site is very multi-media intensive. Take the time to explore her website. A crude way to describe her site is that it is like poetry. Not your normal web site.

    Take time to view her projects and see photos of some of the installations of her work.

    You can also serach the alternative process mail list archives for posts by her and others that have done cyanotype, VDB, and even palladium on glass. One subing product used is Silane. I've lost all of my notes about it but you may wish to google for silane.

    Good luck,
    Don Bryant

  8. #8

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    Having already mixed up some albumen before reading PE's very interesting comment I decided to test it out today since it was sitting in the fridge anyways.

    Previous attempts on the original day of posting the thread without albumen coating on glass resulted in the emulsion washing off instantly, even with multiple coatings..

    After testing some albumen mixed from 2 eggs (about 55ml) with a bit of salt (as I read as a suggestion to help it become homogenous) on a glass plate exposed for 8 minutes with a pretty thin negative it all washed away in a bath of water with no water hitting the emulsion, just lifted off as it was submerged... I somehow expected this..

    I coated another plate and exposed for 16 minutes..... a result!! a very very faint result but one that didnt wash away! I am very happy! (attached below)

    Excited by the result and having only coated two of the three prepared plates I got out the albumen again and coated a plate with the albumen and the cyanotype emulsion mixed as I normally did just as with the plate that had a faint result, mixed cyano 1 to 1 and brushed onto the dried albumen.. exposed for 1 hour in the now stronger sun... everything washed off instantly...

    I am baffled by the unpredictable results but not discouraged, my guesses are 1. albumen was cold when coating 3rd plate unlike previous plates where it was near room temp. 2. the humidity outside and more heat as the sun rose over the 2 hour gap between attempts, 3. number one was not an issue but the plate was much too warm when I washed it and might have needed to cool down

    still, with the faint result I have now I am tempted to continue on further until I have used the albumen I have and then work on some of the suggestions offered by PE.. If I am getting minimal results now with my attempts not really knowing what I am doing I am looking forward to using ideas given by someone who has a very clear idea of what is going on..

    as of now, dried, the result I have is very stable and can only be removed if scratched quite hard, the bottom bar of deepest density was not covered by a negative and was purposely touched wet to see how fragile it is, not extremely fragile, a finger can touch it and it wont come off.. but if wiped it will come off...

    the 'dmax' is still at least 3 or 4 stops from where I want it to be (on the area where there was no film)

    I will continue!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails _DSC6927.jpg  
    "Where is beauty? Where I must will with my whole Will; where I will love and perish, that an image may not remain merely an image."

  9. #9

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    chris any more news on your project ?



 

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