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  1. #1

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    Printing on concrete

    I am looking for any info anyone may have about printing on concrete. The process needs to be fairly simple without a large investment in equipment. This will be a large piece (8ft x 5ft). Would Liquid Light and a slide projector work? What about concretes high ph, as high as 13 when fresh?

  2. #2
    glbeas's Avatar
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    I've heard of folks using cyanotype for large projects like that, and I've experimented with satista on tile but a way is needed for proper fixing and washing out. The material absorbs the sensitiser too deeply.
    Gary Beasley

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    Barry S's Avatar
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    I'd think you need to let the concrete cure, use a concrete sealant, and then sub the surface for a liquid emulsion. I agree that raw concrete is too absorbent without sealing.

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    Akki14's Avatar
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    Cyanotype won't work on something with that high of a pH. They discovered way back when that prussian blue pigments can't be used in frescos without disappearing because of the pH...
    ~Heather
    oooh shiny!
    http://www.stargazy.org/

  5. #5

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    Thank you for the reply's. I really need all the help I can get. As someone once said "I know just enough to get into deep trouble".
    I was considering polishing the surface with diamond polishing pads. I can get a very smooth, shiny surface that way. Then flood the surface with concrete specific sealer 2 or 3 times. The sealer soaks in quit deeply. Having experience with this process, I believe it would work to prepare the surface.
    But what about the Liquid Lite and slide projector.
    The picture is quit simple in content but I would like to end up with a sepia type finish if possible

  6. #6

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    This sounds like quite an undertaking. Are you under the pump for a finish time? I hope not!
    Some thoughts:-
    Lateral thought: do you have to /want to work on concrete. If a covering eg wood is ok this may make life easier.
    Non-lateral thoughts: I think your best bet is going to follow your idea of polishing / sealing first. I'd also be thinking of a gelatin or similar sizing but that square footage will make it non-trivial to do this. Options to experiment with then would be cyanotype (your surface must be sealed++ and non-alkaline or as Heather says its bye-bye image), & liquid emulsions. Given the size I cant see anything else coming to the party. So to proceed: first I'd get a copy of Christopher James's book on Alternative processes: lots of info. Second, I would be making up a bunch of small slabs to experiment with, or if thats not possible at least experimenting small scale on the edges. Better to seal a square foot with something that makes your liquid light go all gooey and refuse to work....

  7. #7

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    How ever long it takes to get the results my mind sees will have to be soon enough.
    I like the idea of a utilitarian product used as art. To me photography is the saving a particularly special moment in time. I guess I am trying to write that moment in stone.
    bnstein, you are right, this will take a lot of trial and error.
    Given the size, I will not be using a transparency or stencil. Cost consideration is pushing me toward a slide projector. Anybody have any thoughts on type, brand, etc.?

  8. #8
    wilsonneal's Avatar
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    I could see doing something with Kallitype, perhaps. Make an enlarged negative on some sort of transparency material. Coat at night. Put the negative down, glass plate, and cover with a blanket. Expose in the morning. Cover it with a blanket again. Process and fix that night. Just a thought.
    Neal

  9. #9

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    How do you plan on exposing your sensitized concrete? Liquid light is very slow and a slide projector is really not that bright, especially at distances required for the size enlargement you'd like to make. Oh....and then there's reciprocity failure with your enlargement times...

  10. #10
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Why a slide projector? Enlargers are plentiful and cheap, and enlarging lenses are sharper and have less distortion than most projection lenses.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

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