I poked around in various archives and couldn't come up with anything conclusive so.......
I have recently been using (read..... twice) the emulsion side of fixed-out PX-3001 because I like the cream base colour and the smooth lustre finish of this paper. I tried various 'home-brew' concoctions from various compounds used in preparing painting surfaces and finally got a combination & process that makes the liquid Platinum solution 'want' to bind to the gelatine substrate of the paper. However it is a fussy sequence and I would certainly abandon it if there is a simple method for attaining a smooth sensitizer coat on the emulsion surface.
Also I tried dammar on a so-so print that was on regular paper and got slightly blacker blacks and livelier shadows. I used it more dilute than for regular finishing to avoid glare and I was wondering if anyone else is using straight dammar successfully or if there are other subtle 'finishes' that give good results.
Thanks in advance for the benefit of your experience..... Annie.
No such luck, Craig Kshinsk made a little booklet on how to use fixed out paper but it is somewhat involved, you have to heat the paper a little and cool it a little....while you brush the emulsion.
I dont know what dammar is, so I cant help there.
Jorge.... Interesting I am using heat also, heated thick glass slab.... Dammar is a classical painters varnish.
well, you are using exactly the same method he uses, in his booklet he recommneds using the heated glass, with half the solution and then put it on a cold glass and brush in the rest of the solution.
As to the varnish I would not recommned using that, it will yellow out in time. There was an interesting thread in the B&S site about waxing papers and the effect of wax or varnishes, from what I could gather it seems the wax and varnishes will yellow out with time. I have never used them but then I am just struggling right now to get really good with one paper I am not the kind to go experimenting with all kinds of things I tend to stick to one thing until I can control it.
Sounds like a similar process but without the substrate additive....Dammar is non-yellowing.... waxes will get you every time though. Jorge thanks for your input.
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PROBLEMS WITH POLYVINYL ACETATES
I have had a suggestion from someone off forum in relation to using PVAs and synthetic coatings which I would like to briefly address here.
In the area of painting, of which I am more familiar than photography, synthetic acetates are being abandoned by many in favour of the traditional dammar varnish... This is my personal choice when varnishing based on research presented by the National Gallery in relation to painting.... Indeed Dammar will slightly yellow in a century or so (this is refereed to as 'calming') but it is also removable, and papers will slightly yellow in that time also.... However with Polyvinyl (PVA) synthetic varnishes there are serious problems with bloom leaving works flat and dead under a grey and opaque haze in under 20 years, when exposed to UV light. I personally would avoid the use of synthetic acetates as varnishes and as sensitizer additives. I am not a conservator, but the research is out there....Just thought I would pass this on.
You may find that waxes will be as suitable for an overcoat as the damar. Here is a link to a yellowing test that was done for oil painting...
The Koshyk method is quite exquisite, but very difficult to do on anything larger than about 5x7. It uses a lot of chemicals, and you end up with many, many prints that are imperfect due to streaking.
But, it can produce black densities higher than siler or even Azo, and the tonality is still a pt/pd print, which means it is wonderful in all the right ways.
Well, my ears started burning this morning...
I am the curious Canadian who does indeed print pt/pd prints as well as cyanotypes, kallitypes etc. on fixed out baryta paper. I have written an instructional booklet explaining my method in excrutiating detail....maybe too much detail. Some may have gotten the impression that the method is very difficult. It is not...well o.k. it may be a bit tricky, especially, as Michael M. pointed out, in sizes bigger than 5x7 but if a fellow with two left hands like myself can do it..up to 8x20, then anyone can.
It does involve a higher volumes of chemicals per print...up to twice as much. But you can make Van Dyke brown prints or kallitypes or cyanotypes...cheap like borsch!
You will have to wade through my probably overly detailed, wordy explanation of the not-as-hard-as-it-may-seem technique, but what the heck, it's a good read notheless.
However the pay off is an extremely smooth, super detailed print with D-max that is through the roof..and a glossy, semi matt or matt surface! As I indicate in the intro to my booklet, if a silver print is an electric guitar with thundering bass and screaming treble, then a pt/pd print is a classical guitar...all sublte nuance and grace. Well with my method it is sort of the best (and worst?) of both worlds. Think of it as plugging a classical guitar into an amplipher.
Recently I have begun a complete re-write of the booklet. I have some of the old ones left. So let's make a deal shall we? I will send anyone on this board a booklet free of charge if they will send me back a print made with my method. A tiny 2 1/4 print is fine...a 4x5 even better.
I have had a few folks take me up on the offer lately and have received some absolutely terrific prints, even a fantastic Chrysotype made on fixed-out Ilford WT glossy. It is one of the nices prints of any technique/process I have ever seen!
Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
P.S. Michael, did we meet at the Arentz workshop in Scotsdale a while back?
Yes, I was at Dick's workshop. I haven't printed much with your method, but I keep meaning to and never find the time. A friend of mine uses your method regularly, and the images are wonderful. He prints up to 8x10 with it.
I have in the past directed people to your old website, but it is no longer active. Do you have a place that has some contact information on the web?
Nice to hear from you again Michael!
I'm glad to hear that your friend is working with my method.
My old website gave up the ghost a while ago when the so called "service" provider provided more problems than service.
An all new, groovy website for my personal work should be up by Xmas. I have been very busy over the last year or so setting up a photography school (www.prairieview.ca) so my own personal work has slowed to a crawl.
I have made a few minor tweaks to my method but it remains essentially the same. I've actually simplified it a bit and now have a very high success rate.
For those of you curious about the method here are the pro's and con's and a brief list of the steps involved:
Surface of your choice. You are no longer limited to matte. You can have all the same tones of a classic pt/pd print with the lovely surface of, say, an air dried FB glossy print.
Dmax. LOTS of Dmax. The Dmaxiest print you can get as far as I know. Dick Arentz measured the Dmax at the workshop in Arizona and, at first, did not believe his densitometer. I cannot remember his measurements but it was well above anything he had ever measured in pt/pd or silver.
Fine detail. The prints have all the sharpness of silver gelatin prints. Take a loupe to them and you see forever....
Increased contrast. You can print pretty soft negs. I print polaroid type 55 PN negs often. Adding contrast agent to the mix does not seem to result in the same blotchy highlights that can occur on cotton papers.
Increased permanence. Luis Nadeau has suggested that a pt/pd coating suspended in Baryta may be very well protected from the elements and therefore of greater archival stability.
Cheap paper! While I do sometimes buy baryta paper to use as a substrate, I more often than not get it free from shops or people who've had it around too long and are looking to throw it out. One of my favorite prints is on a piece of 25 year old Ilford Gallery glossy.
Cons: You'll go through a lot of solutions. First of all, the learning curve is not really steep but you will inevitibly botch the first few prints. Secondly, the technique requires that you always double coat each print. So you use more stuff.
The larger the print, the trickier it gets. You need to double coat each print, you need to use a rod and a brush and you need to do things in a sort of timely manner on two different pieces of glass... one cool, the other warm. When you get to 11x14 and larger, it just gets a bit trickier...kind of like making a pie. A small one is a breeze, a really big one for 25 people is not.
Here are the very basic steps involved;
FB paper is sent straight into the fix, washed, dryed and flattened.
The same coating mix as a print on cotton is made (volume is doubled since the paper will be coated twice)
Tween is added. Lots of Tween. (The booklet gives a more specific schedule of drops etc).
The paper is placed on a piece of glass that sits atop a flat heating pad (the kind you lay on if you have a sore back. I got mine at Walmart. Water bed heating pads work well also.) When the paper is warm half of the solution is poured onto it.
Solutions are spread over the paper with a coating rod. The specific technique is described in the book but is essentially the same as for cotton except much more vigourous (up to 20 to 30 passes with the rod),
When the rod coating step is done (the book explains how to know when it is "done") the paper is transfered to another piece of glass or a counter top that is cooler than the heated glass. A foam brush is now used to work the solutions in a bit more.
When this step is done (yes, the book tells you when it is "done") a plastic squeegee is pulled across the paper ( the book...well you know)
The paper is then dried.
The whole thing is then repeated for the second coat.
When this is done exposure, development clearing etc. are more or less the same as for cotton prints.
So there it is...not really complicated but as they say "there's many a slip between cup and lip!"