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Thread: The Paper Chase

  1. #1

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    I am posting this on the off chance that someone knows who supplies Kodak with their paper stock. I have contacted Kodak but I am assuming that they may not be forthcoming about their supplier or willing to sell me uncoated stock.

    Yesterday I made my best Platinum print thus far on Kodak fine art paper with the emulsion removed and then sized with corn starch and oxalic acid.... the coating went on like butter, the finished print is very smooth even under the loupe as the paper has minimal texture. However, if the step of removing the emulsion is not just right (any residual clay layer) there are problems further on in the process.... basically removing the emulsion is a PITA, so I wish to obtain uncoated stock.

    Also...I believe that Bergger sells uncoated paper stock so I am also wondering if anyone has tried their smooth finished papers (not the textured) with Platinum... I know some people use the uncoated Bergger with carbon.

    Any assistance you can offer me, or other suggestions for smooth paper stock is appreciated.

  2. #2

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    Annie,

    Can't help you with the Kodak source, although it shouldn't be too hard with some research to find the supplier to Kodak. There's only so many paper suppliers in the US. Good luck buying anything less than a monster master roll of paper, though.

    Have you tried printing on the back of some FB papers? I have seen a print or two that looked good on the back side. This would only require that you fix out the paper and wash it really well first, but you probably wouldn't need to do too much other surface preparation. Some papers are printed with a logo on the back, but some aren't, so there may be a few options out there in this respect.

    The Bergger paper is COT-320, which is made by Arches, and is a modification of the Platine paper. It isn't identical, but it it is very similar. I use that as my primary printing paper for normal pt/pd prints. It seems to have a little higher contrast and dmax than Platine, and it seems that it may also have fewer defects.

    I believe the COT-320 paper is used by Bergger to make the Fine Art - Silver Supreme paper.


    ---Michael

  3. #3

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    Annie,

    One other thing, Kevin Sullivan told me recently that he has been printing on matte board. It has to be unbuffered board, but it does end up having a good smooth surface to it, and it typically will not separate in the wash as most people would expect.

    I tried it, but I ony have buffered board on hand, and the results weren't too good.

    I'm not a big fan of the texture that many papers will produce, so I am also on the lookout for the best, low texture paper that seems to make a good print.

    One nice thing about matte board is that you can get it in many, many colors, so you can be very selective about the base color you might use.

    ---Michael

  4. #4

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    Thanks Michael ....

    Somehow I got it into my head that using the backside is 'cheating' but on reflection that may not be so.

    The Bergger paper that the carbon printers are using is not Cot-320. There was a discussion of this recently on the Carbon Mailing list... One of the printers from Europe is getting paper 'custom', the Bergger PN42 Glossy and Pn 41 half matted.... without the silver added to the emulsion, just the gelatine coating.... I think the cost for this worked out to about 5 euros per square metre, and has the advantage that you can order in small batches.

    I had not connected the Cot-320 with the Bergger silver supreme.... So I think it may be possible to get the smooth Bergger papers without any coating without purchasing large volume... Makes me think they may be a better source than Kodak... if the Cot-320 is compatible perhaps the other Bergger papers are..... I will try the backside of some of the smooth Bergger (I have the J&C I think this is the same as Bergger) this weekend and see how it prints. If I get a reasonable print I will contact Bergger about purchasing small amounts of the smooth uncoated.

    Annie

  5. #5
    Joe Lipka's Avatar
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    I started using the Bergger COT 320 after Clay suggested it. Wonderful stuff. You can get it from Bostick and Sullivan. Delivered price is about $50 US for 25 11 x 14 sheets. Expensive? Yeah, but if you're doing pt/pd printing, you're already out a bunch of bucks anyway. Why not go fort it?
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  6. #6

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    I have some of the Arches Platine and the Cot-320 on order, and I agree the Cot-320 in the hands of a master printer is sublime (I have seen examples).... The Cot-320 will most likely be my primary paper, just like to have the option of something a little smoother. I know I may give the impression that all I do is hack about but it just seems that way, as most of the traditional info is readily available it is usually the quirky situations for which I seek assistance.... Traditional platinum me is quietly working in the background....

    Thanks Annie.

  7. #7
    Aggie's Avatar
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    Annie I have something you would probably like. I have a very big roll that is about 4 feet wide and I have no idea how long, but it is a thick roll about a foot across in diameter, of kodak paper. It was left out of it's proctective covering and before it was tossed out i drug it home. I have no idea why I did that. But if you would like it, it is yours. Just pay for the postage to send it to you and you can play with it to your hearts content.
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  8. #8

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    [quote="Annie"] I...just like to have the option of something a little smoother.

    Annie,
    I printed today with Arches 88. It is unsized, but you are "de-buffering" and sizing anyway. Sized with starch it is very smooth, heavy and gives a slightly warm black and an average DMax. It's not cheap, but when it arrives, I think you will like its soft, smooth texture--definitely smoother that the back of any Kodak FB paper.

  9. #9

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    Annie, on a slightly different path I am still experimenting with different papers for Kallitype. My primary disapointment has been the coatings do not stay on the surface enough. I have fround one paper so far: strathmore 400 watercolor. It will work for some images. I am curious if you or others have tried Arches watercolor (hotpress)? I have been told the surface is very smooth and it is sized.

  10. #10

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    Aggie I see we have something in common..... I have also drug home some peculiar 'things' without knowing why! Thanks for the offer but I have reams of paper on hand (including a roll of the mural paper)... Hold on to that roll though someone will put it to good use.

    I have about 20 contemporary water-colour papers and a folio of vintage papers that I am gradually working through. I have tried some of the very rough textured papers such as the Strathmore and got good blacks but the problem was the way the coating settled into the paper with less density at the 'peaks' of the texture when viewed with a loupe. I think I have several types of Arches here but have yet to try them, sounds like that should be next. I have been focusing on the photographic papers because of their wet strength and smoothness.

    Back to the Bergger... Yesterday I removed the emulsion from the J&C Museum Classic which I assume is the Bergger Prestige stock..... It is smoother (not a fibre out of place!) and whiter than the Kodak . Strangely the paper seems to have a wrong and right side (absorbs the coating differently). I did a swatch test and got a black, so when it stops raining I will do a print and see.

    Thanks for your paper suggestions and your generous and thoughtful input..... If I ever happen to find another good 'smoothie' I will post here.

    Cheers Annie

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