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  1. #11

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    I use Canson and Fabriano papers, and experiment with other brands. Even cheap papers may give good results. I found Fabriano more stain-proof than Canson, but this highly depends on how you size the paper. I always use 3% gelatin solution for sizing and harden dry sheets in chrome or potassium alum solution. I sometimes repeat the process. It's likely simplest and cheapest method and produces good and reliable results. Regardless of how good is your sizing, some pigments in combination with certain papers always produce stains. You can eliminate such pairs by experimenting and recording your results.


    HTH,

    Zby

  2. #12
    Kerik's Avatar
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    I apply the gelatin sizing with a glass or plastic rod. For example, on an 8x10 print I use about 4 ml of 4% gelatin with 3 drops of formaldehyde included. This results in a 1-step sizing and hardening and the with tiny amount of formaldehyde being used the odor is nearly imperceptible. But, if you're very sensitive to it, it still may bother you. Once the gelatin is heated and ready it literally takes about 30 seconds per print to apply the sizing. Very quick and easy.
    Kerik Kouklis
    Platinum/Gum/Collodion
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  3. #13
    Barry S's Avatar
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    Thanks for the specific recommendations--they're very helpful. How much do you heat the gelatin, Kerik? Also, where do you buy your formaldehyde and do you know the concentration? I dislike the odor, but I don't have any allergies.

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry S View Post
    The yellowing with glyoxal is a pain. I'd like to size a batch of paper to last a couple months.
    quoting judy seigel (because i haven't ever used glyoxal), the yellowing from the glyoxal can be avoided, if the (dried, i assume) paper is washed in a waterbath. so either make the prints quickly or soak it in a waterbath to get rid of the parts that cause the yellowing.

    i'm dead scared of the aldehydes, so i went with the chrome alum road for a while. i got good results, then later, all went downhill and i got horrible prints. i can't really name a culprit, so i'm not sure, whether i can recommend the c.a. or not. i used appr. 0.2gr for 100ml of 5% gelatin.
    now i'm trying pva sizes and get somewhat mixed results (prints absolutely fine, but the exposed gum gets very vulnerable again when re-wetted, so multiple layers are impossible). it's not gamblin, different brand.





    Quote Originally Posted by Zby001 View Post
    I always use 3% gelatin solution for sizing and harden dry sheets in chrome or potassium alum solution.
    i see you are using the hardener in a seperate bath. could you tell me a little more about the strength of the solution and time ... and everything else important? and how long does the solution keep in your experience?
    i've only been adding it directly to the gelatin so far. see above.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by phritz phantom View Post
    quoting judy seigel (because i haven't ever used glyoxal), the yellowing from the glyoxal can be avoided, if the (dried, i assume) paper is washed in a waterbath. so either make the prints quickly or soak it in a waterbath to get rid of the parts that cause the yellowing.
    Tried this and it didn't help. Could be something in her or in my water that is making the difference, but just wanted to say that a waterbath for yellowed glyoxal isn't a cure-all in every situation.
    Let's see what I've got in the magic trash can for Mateo!

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  6. #16
    Kerik's Avatar
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    I heat the gelatin to about 130F using a simple $10 mug warmer. I like these because they are cheap and won't overheat the gelatin. The formaldehyde is a standard solution of 37%. I got a pint of it from a local pharmacist about 8 or 9 years ago for about $15. I explained what I was using it for and I guess I sounded like I knew what I was talking about. Since I use so little of it for each print I still have over half of it left - and I mostly make 14"x17" and 17"x17" prints. I see you can get it at Chemsavers.

    I've read Judy's approach to soak the paper again after the sizing dries. I assume this may work for some, but I'm not interested in adding yet another hassle step to the paper preparation process.
    Kerik Kouklis
    Platinum/Gum/Collodion
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  7. #17

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    OK, so after using two papers, a bristol and a watercolor paper, you've come to the conclusion that you need to add size to your paper. While I would agree that adding the type of size options which have already been suggested to you in previous responses are valid and effective, I would offer the option that you could simply use pigments which do not leave a stain on your paper (which could be the cause of your ruined highlights).

    Of the two papers you mention, I would return to the watercolor paper and find pigments which when applied, dried, and rinsed do not leave a stain. Two avenues you could try first are the cadmiums and the earth pigments. If you can locate some pigments which will perform as such, go back and try again.

    I have found watercolor papers sized with AKD offer the artist a broader choice of pigments which will not leave a stain than other papers sized by the manufacturer with more traditional sizing such as gelatin. Be sure, however, that your "stain" is not the result of overexposure or thin negative density.

    It seems the web and the written literature is filled with information providing a variety of sizing approaches. In fact, so much so one might get the impression that adding size is an absolute requirement for gum printing. I wish to say, based upon my own work and the work of others, that simply is not the case. Rather, it is possible to adapt the process to successfully work with papers sized as they are out of the package—and that is something rarely mentioned which is, most quality paper, especially of the watercolor variety, is already sized by the manufacturer.

    Having stated that, I do think adding size is important for artists who need a much broader range of color options or desire a smoother paper. For them, the sizing already within the paper is not sufficient. All gum printers must come to their own conclusions concerning size based upon desired objectives and personal inclinations.

    Peter J. Blackburn
    http://www.alternativephotography.co...blackburn.html
    Last edited by pjbtx; 10-20-2009 at 05:27 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: grammar

  8. #18
    Barry S's Avatar
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    Peter-- Thanks. I bought a few sheets of Fabriano Artistico Extra White and Rives BFK today. I definitely plan to test these papers with and without sizing. I note that the Fabriano is already sized (not sure about the Rives), so I'd be happy if I didn't need the extra step. I'll also be testing some different pigments, but it's always helpful to learn exactly what's working for other practitioners.

  9. #19

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    Kerik,
    Did you try PVA straight or diluted? I ask because you say you don't like the surface it creates. I dilute it 1:2 with water, and use an old hake brush to apply a couple of coats. I actually have to mark the paper after sizing. Otherwise I would have a hard time being able to tell it was done at all.
    Using it straight, on the other hand, leaves a definite sheen to the paper.
    Everyone will come to their own favorite techniques, but using PVA has proven to be the greatest thing ever for me. No more heating and blooming gelatin, dealing with formalin, etc.
    What a breath of fresh air.
    Best,
    Steve
    www.scdowellphoto.com

  10. #20
    Kerik's Avatar
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    Steve I did try different dilutions, but don't remember how much. The bottom line was, gelatin and formalin works so well for me and it's so fast and easy that I didn't pursue PVA very far. If it ain't broke...

    While I do understand your personal desire to avoid formalin, a few drops per print don't concern me. And I don't consider putting gelatin in water for 20 minutes and heating it up to be anything close to a chore. There are always other things to do while that's happening. Once everything is ready, I can fill my drying screens with sized paper in no time. I'm glad you found a method that works well for you. Your gum and gumover work is outstanding.

    As for un-sized paper for gum... I know it is doable, but it's not what I would recommend for someone just starting out. Especially if they are pre-shrinking or acid treating the paper beforehand (for gum over platinum).
    Kerik Kouklis
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