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  1. #31

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    I'd be coating sheets to be used with 18cm x 24cm glass plates (using the FKD camera). Good point about the drying space though!

    Still, the cost of eggs is nothing compared to the cost of silver nitrate! One thing is for sure, these alternative processes are not cheap! Still, one hopes the results are worth it, and the satisfaction gained from using an old process also makes it worthwhile.

    And so, going from Reilly's book, here's what I have come up with so far...

    Ammonium chloride (15g)
    Glacial acetic acid (2ml)
    Water - presumably distilled is better?
    Albumen (40+ eggs)

    The choice of paper seems to be fairly critical, and I'm thinking Arches Aquarelle, Strathmore Series 500 Drawing Paper or Saunders Waterford.

    Sensitising solution consisting of 100g silver nitrate and distilled water. Perhaps a 5% shot of citric acid in that?

    Now, before I do anything daft, like ordering all this, am I heading along the right lines please? Especially as it going to cost something in the order of £75 or so...

    Thanks,
    David.
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  2. #32
    RobertP's Avatar
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    Are you double coating and hardening the first coat in alcohol?

  3. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by RobertP View Post
    Are you double coating and hardening the first coat in alcohol?
    No, I wasn't planning to. Just a single coat, although I realise that might result in slightly uneven coating.

    I guess from your question that you would highly recommend double coating? I'm certainly not averse to doing it - this method is clearly not the cheapest, and so I really do not want to invest in this method of printing only to regret taking a short-cut later.
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  4. #34
    RobertP's Avatar
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    You can get very good images with a single coat. I just like a double coat because it gives you a little richer print, or so it seems from my experience. Your single coat should be plenty even enough.

  5. #35
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    The advantage of double coating depends on the paper, I think. I single coat usually.

    The paper most like that used most often in the era of albumen printing is Strathmore 500 Single-Ply Plate. Other papers work and may be interesting, but single-ply is easier to coat, I find. Heavier papers will curl more in the tray and can be harder to bend and float.

    With albumen, you want to lay the paper on the surface of the albumen solution evenly and you want complete contact, no bubbles, and no albumen on the back of the paper.

    When sensitizing, you want to lay the paper on the surface of the silver nitrate solution in one quick smooth motion to avoid wicking effects, again with no bubbles.

    For both of these steps, thinner paper is easier. The vast majority of period albumen prints are on thin paper mounted to heavier cardstock.
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  6. #36
    RobertP's Avatar
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    I mostly use the Strathmore 500 Drawing -plate surface- single ply as David indicated. You can also take a sheet and fold it in half and glue the 3 loose sides along the edges. Use a size, when folded will give you a size larger than what you'll need. Now you can submerge the paper packet in the albumen and avoid a lot of those pesky surface bubbles. Once the paper is dry you then cut away the glued edges and you have two sheets of albumen paper. You can also leave them glued and when you're ready to print submerge them in the silver nitrate solution, then cut them apart.

  7. #37

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    RobertP: what a great idea! I had to read it twice though; that's one of those really simple ideas that seems so obvious once it's pointed out!

    However, might I ask a seemingly silly question..? What glue do you use, or doesn't it matter? Are we talking Pritt Stick / PVA here, or animal glues?

    Thanks to everyone for all your helpful comments

    David.
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  8. #38
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    John Coffer uses the method of gluing and cutting, and I think he uses rubber cement. The seal can't leak, because you'll get a white spot on the print, if there is any albumen on the back of the paper.
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  9. #39
    RobertP's Avatar
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    Not a silly question at all. I use "Best-Test" paper cement. It is an acid free adhesive. I bought it at the local art supply. I wanted to make sure I didn't contaminate my silver bath with any of the animal proteins. "Best-Test" is a natural rubber latex. Make sure you use a decent coat so as to seal the edges well. I have had good success with it so far.

  10. #40

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    Hello, I am at the start of some albumen printing myself, and have been wondering about the amount both of albumen and silver nitrate needed for floating the sheets. In the Reilly book on Albumen, he mentions making a "boat" by bending up the edges of the paper sheet for easing an even floating. This got me thinking: would it make sense to make such a "boat", but in stead of *floating* the boat on the albumen and silver nitrate solutions, to *pour* the albumen and the sensitizing solution into the boat? I have not tried it yet, but have been wondering: wouldn't this a) prevent pesky bubbles in the albumen, b) ensure some fairly even sensitizing (provided one pours quickly enough), and c) significantly reduce the amount of required albumen and silver nitrate solution? What would speak against such an approach? I have not seen this mentioned anywhere, so somehow I feel there might be some drawback - but anybody has any experience to share already?

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