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  1. #1

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    seeking advice on fabrico artistico+oxallic acid bath

    forgive me if these three questions are too elementary to post here, but i thought it would be the fastest way to get good advice .... i have some fabrico artistico ex.wh. paper that i understand needs a dunk in oxallic acid to remove the buffering so it is suitable for pt/pd printing.... so, 250 grams of the stuff arrived today, and i realized three things i don't know:

    1. about how much (in teaspoons or tablespoons, for instance) of oxallic acid powder do i need in a quart of water to have the recommended 2% solution? (i no longer have a reliable wt. scale)

    2. how long should it be in the bath (constant agitation, i presume)? i've read/heard conflicting things ("till it stops fizzing" .... "about 15-30 minutes" ..... "no more than one minute or you'll remove the sizing too")

    3. is hang drying recommended or will flat drying on fiberglas screens suffice?

    any help is much appreciated -- thanks

    rich

  2. #2

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    Rich, just from my limited experience...

    1.I use 2 teaspoons to 1 liter of water (I use warm water to help it go into solution)
    2. 5-10 min on average, the paper will not bubble any longer - have not had any problem with removing the sizing
    3. I hang my paper, but I think that drying flat works just as well, if not better (make sure they are clean)

    Have fun!!
    Mike C

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  3. #3
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    I have soaked it 2% to 3% Oxalic acid for 5 minutes to 60 minutes. Haven't noticed any sizing disappearing. The info from experienced world-class platinum printers that I have gotten has ranged from "until it stops fizzing" to 30 minutes. So I suggest something inbetween and see how it works!

    I hang mine to dry (from one corner with clothes pins)...works well and I don't have an acid solution all over the drying screens to worry about (just acid dripping over counters and the floor.)

    Vaughn
    At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.

  4. #4
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    Just an FYI about the Artistico: there is considerable batch-to-batch variation in the amount of buffering that gets into this paper.

    I spent some time on the phone over the last month with a world-class platinum printer (he does those big editions for the likes of 21st Journal and Verso Editions - I'm talking upwards of a thousand matched prints for 100 books in some cases). Anyway, he was in the middle of a big project and had received the 'start printing' signal on about a dozen B.A.T. proofs made on Artistico Extra White. He bought a new roll of AEW and started printing using the exact same procedure, and got weak washed out prints. He finally tracked it down to a new batch of Artistico EW that was VERY buffered. It needed 15-30 minute soaks in 8% oxalic to make it printable. Unfortunately, the long soaks were both time consuming and compromised some of the tactile and visual qualities of the paper.

    So he had to make the difficult decision to switch papers, and landed on Platine as the least painful alternative. My main point is this: if you are printing a big project, make sure you don't need a new batch of this stuff in midstream, because you may be in for some headaches.

    FWIW, I have talked to two other excellent printers who have had exactly the same problem with AEW lately.
    I just want to feel nostalgic like I used to.


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  5. #5

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    thanks for all the helpful info--
    vaughn--good point on the acid-on-the-drying-screens issue .... hadn't considered that (speaking of which, is a water bath after the oxallic acid bath advisable? and do you also need to press the paper flat before coating?) ...... all this extra work (*and the warning from clay) makes me wonder what the appeal of the fabrico paper is!! ..... certainly it's white and inexpensive, and some printers really like it ..... oh well, i've got this batch to try out so it's full speed ahead nonetheless .... thanks again

    rich

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by rbergeman View Post
    thanks for all the helpful info--
    vaughn--good point on the acid-on-the-drying-screens issue .... hadn't considered that (speaking of which, is a water bath after the oxallic acid bath advisable? and do you also need to press the paper flat before coating?) ...... all this extra work (*and the warning from clay) makes me wonder what the appeal of the fabrico paper is!! ..... certainly it's white and inexpensive, and some printers really like it ..... oh well, i've got this batch to try out so it's full speed ahead nonetheless .... thanks again

    rich
    There's no need for a water wash after soaking in Oxalic Acid. In fact, a little oxalic acid in the paper will convert the Ferric Oxalate into it's stoichiometric form and give you better looking Pt/Pd prints.

  7. #7

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    Can't speak for the others, but part of the appeal is FAEW is a very nice paper if you want to add a gum layer (or more than one) on top of the plt/pld print. And if you think all of the prep to use it is a lot of work you should try gum layers...the paper has to be sized, dry, gum layer added, then exposed, then water bath and cleared, dry it again, decide if you want another gum layer or not and start the process again. Is it worth it? Heck Yes it is, and a pain in the backside as well...just depends on what you want and how much you enjoy printing.

    Oh yeah, I don't wash mine after the OA bath either - so what Dana said. Each paper has it's good points and bad, and a paper that is in favor today may change and not be next week, next month or next year. We are NOT the primary market for these papers, and thus they may change on us if the mfg decides the change will not impact their primary market.
    Mike C

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  8. #8
    Kerik's Avatar
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    I like this paper because it is the best choice for gum over pt/pd. It's not a paper I typically use for strait pt/pd prints, although I have. I would choose Arches Platine or COT 320 over AEW for pt/pd only (these papers do not work well for gumover).
    Kerik Kouklis
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  9. #9

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    Fabriano Artistico Oxalic Acid Bath Treatment

    I am printing Pt/Pd and working with the traditional white Artistico and from old stock purchased about three years ago. So I can't speak to current production or whether traditional white and extra white differ. Right now I am using a 2% bath for 5 minutes. Hang to dry. The fizzing stops at about 3 minutes for this batch of paper. I have found the heavy sizing of this paper to be more of a challenge than the buffer agent but a drop or two of tween 20 has solved that problem. Today I showed a client proof prints for a project and she is pleased. It prints beautifully.



 

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