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  1. #1

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    Encaustics and Fiber Based Photo Paper

    Has anyone here worked with this combo? I'm trying to use standard VC fiber based B&W papers (alright not too alt) in Encaustic collage (did I reach alt enough??). My problem is the clay/coating on the papers keeps the wax from sticking well. I can put down a layer of wax, but if I want the wax to do its usual trick of melting/collaging with other items, the bond is very weak, the photo paper curles and everything falls apart. Not good!

    All the suggestions I've found on the web suggest using inkjet prints on plain and porous paper. I really wanted to stay away from the computer generated stuff on this project.

    So, anyone have experience with this. Or, does anyone know of a real "paper" B&W paper that doesn't have much/any clay or sealing/coat.

    I am aware I could go to Kalli or platinum or liquid light on plain paper. I really wanted a more standard B&W paper look for this work.
    Last edited by Tomf2468; 03-08-2009 at 12:25 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: bad spelling (who me??)

  2. #2
    dpurdy's Avatar
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    Anyway you could start with a surface that a print could be glued to? Like wood or maybe even gessoed canvas? Masonite? Perhaps the wax would take better to a mat surface.

  3. #3

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    Most encaustic is done on a hard board. When dried (hardened) encaustics are somewhat "brittle" and due to physical movement might crack on a simple paper or canvas or matboard backing.

    I'm experimenting with masonite, using either a gesso layer or a matboard glued ontop to give it some "absorption". Encasutic doesn't adhere well to acrylic gesso (what modern painters use), you have to use oldfashioned rabbit skin gesso. Nasty smelly slow awful stuff. I hope that matboard continued to be the right answer!!

    So, yes, I could glue the photo down to the prepared board first. However, the fun thing about collage is that not everything is at the same height. Gluing the photo to the board forces the photo to always be the lowest level. What I really "want" is a VC paper that will accept (absorb?) wax, so that I can place the image anywhere and anytime into the collage

    Hopefully everyone isn't singing that old Rolling Stones song.... "You don't always get what you want.... You don't always get what you want....." Sorry, that is all I can remember of the song (being more of a jazz and classical fan myself)

    Tom

  4. #4

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    Welllllll, I don't think this is what dpurdy intended, but his post got me thinking.......... 90% of my problem is with the back of the photo paper not taking wax well enough to collage/glue to other wax layers. I wonder if I first heatpress mounted or glued the photograph to a plain absorbent piece of paper and then collaged that? Something like BFK, medium weight and really absorbant. I suspect the plain paper backing would solve my problem by absorbing wax and melding better than the coated/clay photo paper.

    Something to experiment with! I'd still love to hear other opinions and experiences.

    Tom

  5. #5
    JBrunner's Avatar
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    If I understand what you are doing, another approach could be to use a hand painted emulsion on a watercolor or drawing paper, either a silver emulsion like liquid light, or some other alt process. Because you can pick and choose where the emulsion goes on the paper, you even have flexibility in what part of the paper will print, brushed marked edges and all that.

  6. #6

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    Thanks for the thoughts J. I have lots of experience with alt printing and a small amount of experience with Liquid Light. My "vision" for these images (still unfulfilled) is more "modern B&W paper". Perhaps with all of the paint/encaustic and collage involved, having the main images look too hand/alt printed is just too too too much? Heck, I grew up photographically considering Brett Weston as a near God. What am I doing with paint, wax and mixed media???

    Mostly having fun, actually :-)

    I've also dropped this question onto an encaustic painter's board. They are a lot smaller/slower over there. As small a community as "analog" photographers may feel, I think the community of encasutics users is even smaller!

    Tom

  7. #7
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Modern B&W FB glossy paper has a baryta coating, and that seems to be the problem, presuming of course that the gelatin isn't also causing a problem with the wax, but I'd think it would be okay, since gelatin can tolerate high drymount temperatures.

    I think your best bet is to coat an emulsion on something like a watercolor paper, as Jason suggests, and maybe something that isn't a gelatin emulsion, so not liquid light, but maybe platinum/palladium, vandyke, salt print, cyanotype, or something along those lines. Albumen holds up to steam, so I think it should hold up to hot wax.
    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

  8. #8

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    Well, I only got one reply on the encaustics discussion board, but that makes it 3 for three (with David and Jason) suggesting a hand coated print on art paper. I should have time latter this week to do more exploring (Tues and Wed are going to be commercial shooting). I will try both ways (modern B&W paper with an artpaper backing glued on and a hand coated print) and see what works.

    Thanks,
    Tom

  9. #9
    Chazzy's Avatar
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    How about drymounting the prints to ordinary paper?
    Charles Hohenstein

  10. #10

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    I did find time to work on this further. Actually, all three methods worked quite well. "Glueing" (Yes brand glue) a plain paper the silver gelatin (fiber based) print works nicely. Heat pressing (I always considered that a form of glueing) the Silver Gelatin print to plain paper also works great. Perhaps better than Yes glue! I had expected dry mount problems, because you use so much heat in encaustics, but the dry mounted print is actually flatter after lots of heating cycles than the Yes glue print (both are quite good). Lastly, a Liquid Light print works great.

    Both the Yes glue and dry mount prints were Foma fiber based paper mounted to BFK paper. The Liquid Light paper was a watercolor paper.

    So, I've got lots of options, now all I need to do is make something worth showing!!!!!

    Thanks,
    Tom
    Last edited by Tomf2468; 03-13-2009 at 05:06 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: spelling

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