Re: Argyrotype

From: Judy Seigel ^lt;>
Date: 01/10/04-02:10:59 PM Z
Message-id: <>

On Sat, 10 Jan 2004, Peter Marshall wrote:
> My experiences with the argyrotype (and the enhanced cyanotype for that
> matter) were not dissimilar to yours. I quickly reverted to traditional
> methods, finding them more reliable.

I hadn't planned to give argyrotype another thought, let alone try it, but
this discussion focussing on the process keeps nagging at the part of my
mind not frozen with the 8 degree Fahrenheit temperature this day, which I
can't translate into celsius because celsius doesn't go that low.

My RECOLLECTION is that argyrotype was presented, not for its ease of
working, but for its greater archivality. The explanation I recall is that
the small particles of VDB and kallitype would present more surface for
(oxidation?) and therefore be more perishable. The corollary may/must have
been that the argy---- has larger particles (?).

I don't know that properly processed VDB is so perishable... or if
anybody knows that for sure, really. Accounts at the time and since have I
believe been inconclusive. But now I wonder if properly *gold toned* (or
other toned) VDB et al, compensate. That is, would they be more archival
than untoned argy... or equal to toned....??

If the a-process were, let's say, closer to the level of pt/pd for
archivality, wouldn't that mitigate the difficulty of doing it? (That is
assuming the concern with archivality is that important in the grand
scheme of things.) Some people even think gum is difficult, but properly
motivated manage to learn. On the other hand, if the difference is
dubious or unproved, and even Sandy King & Peter Marshall have trouble
with it, one's energy might be better placed elsewhere (like digging for

Received on Sat Jan 10 14:11:04 2004

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