Re: Hardening with glyoxal

From: Judy Seigel ^lt;>
Date: 08/17/04-07:40:23 PM Z
Message-id: <>

On Mon, 16 Aug 2004, Christina Z. Anderson wrote:

> Do you use aquarelle?

I've used aquarelle and sized and hardened it but don't know if there are
any in this mess.... er this batch, or these batches.

>> Oh, I see now you've mixed your glyoxal in with the gelatin... You can't
>> rinse that off then, can you... another reason for not mixing... Why folks
>> do that I don't know. It also means you can't save leftover gelatin for a
>> few days in the refrigerator (which can be very convenient) -- or longer
>> in the freezer.
> It saves a step--you don't have to tray soak in a solution of glyoxal.

Chris, Don, whoever -- that glyoxal rinse is just nothing. You put the
paper in and turn it over, then same for another 2 or 10 or 20 whatever
sheets. Let them lie there with maybe an occasional rattle of the tray for
about 5 minutes and hang up to dry.

Period. No squeegee, no brushing, no need even to interleave if you've
gotten all wet at the insertion (tho I suppose the sky wouldn't fall if
you turned the stack over a couple of times).

As for when you rinse -- I can only describe the tests I did several years
ago, and this from memory: I left gelatined paper in the glyoxal bath for
2 minutes, 3 minutes and 5 minutes, then some were rinsed after the soak
(still wet) and some not rinsed, and a 21-step printed of each variable.

I found that rinsing after the 2-minute soak wiped out the effect of the
hardening -- although a 2-minute soak that let the glyoxal solution harden
on the paper did sufficiently harden. I inferred that the gyloxal solution
drying on the paper was the equivalent of a longer soak.

But I only did this with one paper and one pigment mix, so I can't
guarantee identical results with others. The whole thing however took me
less than 2 hours including the 21-step prints & answered the questions I
had at the time.

As for not hardening the gelatin at all -- there are folks who print that
way, but I think their system is geared to it. It didn't work for me -- I
found the paper-gum mix I was using stained markedly when the gelatin
wasn't hardened. HOWEVER, I note that Sam Wang uses cyanotype for a first
coat and cyano is reported to have a tanning effect...

>> Oh, and no distilled in any of it.... just sweet New York and Brooklyn tap
>> water.
>> Judy
> OK, that eliminates one variable. But aren't you just a little leery of it
> doing this years later?

Chris, I'm sitting 1.6 miles from the downtown "ground zero" and about
1.0 miles from several potential uptown ground zero's -- and I'm supposed
to worry that my gelatin will yellow "years later"?

There's also the fact that the developers want to dink around with our
water supply in Croton, as explained to me by a fellow I photographed
today whose t-shirt protested it ... So I can't promise the water for the

For what it's worth however, I have found that once the paper has been
printed and soaked it doesn't yellow any more -- or not since I've been
using glyoxal, about 8-9 years.


Received on Tue Aug 17 19:40:37 2004

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