RE: Hardening with glyoxal

From: Don Bryant ^lt;[email protected]>
Date: 08/16/04-06:50:57 PM Z
Message-id: <>


> When I went into my "dark"room here, from which I have been absent 3
> months, I noticed two sheets of paper, one severely yellow. I mean, as
> yellow as that stucco color you see all over in Italy, or Italian
> restaurants. I was totally blown away, thinking it was a sheet of
> glutaraldehyde sized paper. However, when I pulled it out, there was also
> a
> Lenox sheet that was normal white, that had been sized, too, and I realize
> that the Lenox was sized with glut for sure, and the yellowed paper if I'm
> not mistaken was sized with glyoxal. That piece was aquarelle (it had
> spots, so I was only keeping it for demo purposes). So, whatever you do
> with glyoxal, make sure you size just enough that you will use shortly,
> don't store it.
> I wonder if the yellowing problem is due to paper choice. Leading
> back to what Judy said a while back that an alkaline substance made her
> glyoxal turn orange, it may be paper choice. I'm also wondering if my
> water
> supply is alkaline enough here that this is what caused it, but whatever
> the
> cause, I would use glyoxal very carefully. I mix 25 ml of 40% into 1000
> ml
> of 3% gelatin--this does lots of paper, btw, more than you can hang at one
> time. I brushed it on, I do not rinse after, as Judy does, I throw excess
> away because it is mixed in with the gelatin. 500 ml of glyoxal 40% will
> last you through 20 sizings of easily 50 16x20 sheets each time, so, in
> essence, years.

As I recall, Clay Harmon wrote that treating the glyoxal hardened paper with
a water rinse seemed to counter act any yellowing that he had observed
before, concurring with Judy Seigel remarks that treating glyoxal hardened
with a water rinse does prevent yellowing.

I'm not sure which paper Clay was using at that time so I don't if it is
paper specific. I do know that Lenox natural white is very yellow to begin
with and I further assume that you meant Lenox White. I'll get some
aquarelle to test with also.

Christopher James recommends the addition of baking soda to the glyoxal
solution to insure an alkaline solution to enhance the bonding between the
hardener and the sizing. Interestingly is his recommendation for the
addition of 10 ml of methyl alcohol to preserve the glyoxal mix for a few
days, which dovetails into my inquiry about reusing glyoxal. My need for
reuse is due to the limited space I currently have for hanging sheets of
paper to dry after sizing and hardening. I can only do about 7 or 8 sheets
at a time. I work in 24 sheet batches of cut paper.

Also as for storage I place any cut paper of any kind in 1 and 2 gallon zip
lock bags for easy identification and storage. I don't know what effect this
may have on preventing or enhancing yellowing.
> Would you do me a favor?? Cut a piece of glyoxal sized paper off,
> and
> just keep it untouched for several months and see if you have this
> experience.


> I am going to order some more glyoxal and test some
> myself...maybe like leave a piece out in the sun a couple days and see if
> that contributes, etc. etc., but the yellowing is enough for me to
> seriously
> question why I would ever use it again, even if taking precautionary
> measures of rinsing after hardening, and using up paper right away, and
> avoiding aquarelle.
> I'm gonna bring a piece of these papers to show Sam tomorrow at
> school
> so he can be my witness :)

If memory serves me well Sam doesn't size or harden his paper for gum
printing. Perhaps that should tell us something.

Received on Mon Aug 16 18:51:14 2004

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