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  1. #1

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    Papers for alt. processes.

    I'm having nothing but the worst of luck finding a decent paper for van dykes & cyanotypes. I've tried watercolour paper, rising stonehenge paper, a low weight calligraphy paper, etc, and I've had nothing but problems with the stain leaching out during the rinse, water marks, image softness, etc.

    Any suggestions? The only ones that really worked were the sample papers that came from Bostick-Sullivan (and I'll order from there if I get desparate), but I'd like to find a decent paper in the local art stores.
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    Kerik's Avatar
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    Weston Diploma Parchment. Very nice paper for MANY alt processes. http://www.butlerdearden.com/Weston.aspx Call John Zokowski. It's a bit on the thin side, so a little tricky with BIG prints. The color is ivory-ish.
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    I've had very good results in Cyanotype printing with Strathmore Bristol Plate. I've tried a few different papers and this is the one that really shines, at least for me. As with all these types of papers, just when you find something you really like, the manufacturer will change something and put you back to square one...

    - Randy

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    I agree with Kerik. Weston Diploma is WONDERFUL.

    If you need something with a whiter base, try Arches Platine(sp?). I think it's the basis for the more expensive COT320 papers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kerik View Post
    Weston Diploma Parchment. Very nice paper for MANY alt processes. http://www.butlerdearden.com/Weston.aspx Call John Zokowski. It's a bit on the thin side, so a little tricky with BIG prints. The color is ivory-ish.

  5. #5

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    Good advice (from some great printers BTW) about Weston, Arches, etc. Would guess that the paper you got from B&S was Cranes Kid Finish, and if you liked it (and it did not fall apart on you - it is more delicate than Weston) I would give the Weston a try. Cranes Cover Stock - AKA Platinotype would be another possible paper.

    It also sounds like the coating may not be completely dry and that is part of the reason for the stain, soft image you describe. Give it a bit longer drying, and see how that helps, also be sure you get a good even coat (it's easier to say than do sometimes). Good luck!!
    Mike C

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    Ahhh, maybe it is not quite dry. I have been printing an hour or two after coating. I'll try again with an overnight drying and see how that works out.

    Thanks for the suggestions, and I'll definitely try some of those papers if an increase in drying time doesn't help. One of the ones that worked out well was, in fact, Cranes Kid Finish, so I'll try the Weston. I also had a sample of COT320 and it was really nice, but as pointed out it's pretty expensive and I'd like to find something a bit less painful.
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  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by walter23 View Post
    Ahhh, maybe it is not quite dry. I have been printing an hour or two after coating. I'll try again with an overnight drying and see how that works out.

    Thanks for the suggestions, and I'll definitely try some of those papers if an increase in drying time doesn't help. One of the ones that worked out well was, in fact, Cranes Kid Finish, so I'll try the Weston. I also had a sample of COT320 and it was really nice, but as pointed out it's pretty expensive and I'd like to find something a bit less painful.
    Well, an hour or two should be enough time to dry. Are you coating with a brush, coating rod, ? How much are you using (volume) to coat with? It has been a while since I coated any VDB, but it sounds like you are doing it correctly. Maybe someone else can offer a suggestion, if you could post a scan of an example it might help someone trouble shoot. Or if you have a kit from Bostick and Sullivan, Kevin is always willing to help - might give them a call.
    Mike C

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    For VDB I'm using a cheap flat-wide brush from the art store, and about half an eye-dropper of the stuff (not a very exact measure, but say 10 to 12 drops per 4x5" coating).

    For cyanotype, probably about the same quantity. Usually I measure out enough drops using that rough guideline into a small beaker and just brush the stuff on as many sheet as I can coat (which usually works out to be close to my 12 drops per 4x5 estimate).

    One of my big problems is this sort of migration of the dye from the edges inwards (if I leave my brushed borders unmasked), or from other really dense areas, when I do my wash. I'll see if I can find a good example to scan. It seems like the exposed stuff isn't adhering to the paper properly (both cyan & VDB).
    The universe is a haunted house. -Coil
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  9. #9
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    Make sure you're exposing the cyanos long enough. With very dense negatives, it may take a lot longer than you expect for exposure. What sort of water are you using for washing? I have extremely hard water here so I usually "wash" the cyanos initially in a tray of 50/50 vinegar and tap water or filtered water so it's slightly acidic. I just leave them facedown in the tray for 5-10minutes or until it looks like the yellow staining has left then I rinse in tap water or filtered water.

    I've found rather cheap paper works better than expensive writing paper so far. If you're unsure if the paper is buffered or not, just let it sit in a similar 50/50 vinegar bath (or stopbath for B&W silver process if you have that around as that's generally cheaper than vinegar) and let it dry fully overnight before coating with cyanotype.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by walter23 View Post
    For VDB I'm using a cheap flat-wide brush from the art store, and about half an eye-dropper of the stuff (not a very exact measure, but say 10 to 12 drops per 4x5" coating).

    For cyanotype, probably about the same quantity. Usually I measure out enough drops using that rough guideline into a small beaker and just brush the stuff on as many sheet as I can coat (which usually works out to be close to my 12 drops per 4x5 estimate).

    One of my big problems is this sort of migration of the dye from the edges inwards (if I leave my brushed borders unmasked), or from other really dense areas, when I do my wash. I'll see if I can find a good example to scan. It seems like the exposed stuff isn't adhering to the paper properly (both cyan & VDB).
    Just for reference I use 8 drops from an eye dropper or 0.5 ml from a syringe for my 5x4 images.
    Do you mean Migration of 'dye' sensistizer when you are developing? If so this is normal to see a certain amount of exposed chems migrate out (especially from the uncovered borders). This can cause staining if not washed away so make sure that the movement of fluid used to clear causes constant change of solution. Don't use too small a tray!.

    I use a foam brush or a coating rod to apply the sensitizer. The foam brush seems to work better for kallitypes.

    I print Cyanotypes and Kallitypes. I have found that Arches Platine is a good paper for the kallitypes, Arches Aquarelle worked fine for the Cyanotypes. Infact most watercolur papers that I have tried have been fine for Cyanotypes.
    It is not tradition that secures the survival of our craft, its the craft that secures the survival of our traditions.

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