I have a few questions about anthotypes, for those who have experience with them.
1) Has anyone tried to use a heavy red wine to coat the paper? I've thought about putting a cheap cabernet into a pot, reducing it down, and using a few coats of it on the paper. I guess that would be a vinotype or something.
2) Has anyone used a dark green substrate for the coating? I'm thinking about something like spinach, or even just leaves and grass from the yard, blended up with a little bit of alcohol.
3) Can a little bit of dichromate be used to increase contrast?
4) Has anyone used transparency film? I have a lot of 4x5 transparencies and a few 8x10 transparencies -- they certainly have a higher density range than most B&W negatives, so I wonder how they would work
5) Is there a way to make them relatively archival after printing? Like spraying with a fixative and putting under museum glass?
I have long wondered about anthotypes but have never bothered because I have never encountered anyone yet -- including the one anthotype practitioner I have met in person -- who had any good ideas about increasing their keeping, beyond not taking 'em out too often. I shall therefore watch this thread with interest.
I wouldn't really bother with anthotypes if you want any sort of detail. I've not been very successful as far as good resolution of images. You can make out something's there and it vaguely resembles the negative but you don't get detail.
The first anthotype (portrait format) is done with purple iris petals, the second (landscape format) is done with raw red cabbage. I prefer my cyanotypes where I can see results a little faster and actually get quite fine detail.
i made ( errr, tried to make ) an anthotype,
but the plants i used, from our garden, didn't
do much of anything ...
i should have used poppies, i hear they work very well ...
I'm assuming that you need something extremely dark to get the best contrast and resolution. There are some wine reduction sauces that are a very dark purple, and that might be a good start (and probably not too hard to do).
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This is the first I've heard of this process, and I've got no idea how it works but I suspect it's a general mechanism involving breakdown of dye by sunlight - bleaching, in other words. Unfortunately you aren't chemically transforming the remaining pigment to make it stable, so I think it would still slowly degrade with exposure to light and air. I'm pretty sure spray lacquer or something like that wouldn't help in any case because it would still be exposed to light. Maybe if you lacquered it to prevent oxidation and displayed it under opaque black glass it'd be okay
The universe is a haunted house. -Coil
Well, some of Sir William Herschel's anthotypes from the 1840s are still around, so they're not that ephemeral. If it's truly dessicated and protected from UV light (using glass that's near 100% UV proof) then any breakdown will be slow. And museum glass is easy to get -- any picture framing store will offer it, and it's not all that expensive.
You should go to Austin, the University of Texas, and see Herschel's albums of experiments. Alas, the keys to the images are in the UK and the heirs will not permit a xerox to be made, but at least you can immediately sort them out from the cyanotypes in the albums. Very, very few have been permanent and probably most weren't great shakes when new.
I am also interested in this process as an extention of my experiments with my Physautotype pictures, there are are number of plants you can use, blueberries are reported to work in a short time , hours not days under UV light.
heather could you please give a few more details about the iris flowers process,
how many coates did you give the paper
and did you use water coulour paper
and did you use alcohol to get the pigment
did you use sunlight or UV.
how long did it take to get print
Last edited by brucej; 10-24-2007 at 01:32 AM. Click to view previous post history.
2 coats, watercolour paper (fabriano, dunno which kind, I got an unlabeled pack cheap from the art store which only said fabriano on it), no alcohol because iris petals release a LOT of juice on their own and I used sunlight and it took 3 days exposure time.