RE: coating with rollers, vellum, Fabriano Artistico

From: Kate M ^lt;>
Date: 07/12/04-06:57:41 PM Z
Message-id: <000001c46874$67130010$0426f6d2@kateiwpiarptn6>

Dear Ryuji, I'm sorry I took so long to reply to this post. I use a
variety of watercolour and printmaking papers. As most commercial
emulsions state that you should size porous surfaces, I've always
pre-sized with gelatin/formaldehyde. Lately I bought some Saunders
Waterford HP watercolour paper and tried that unsized and got a lot of
problems coating - unevenness and brush drag being the worst. I have
used the Fabriano but only for gum, where I found it worked well. My
favourite paper for gum now is Saunders Waterford watercolour paper.

 My coating method is to use a hake (apparently one should use a NEW
brush every time, though I have never done this) to brush quickly in two
directions, then roll over the top with a roller to even out the
coating. I wouldn't use a roller for coating because of the expense - I
couldn't get a good quality roller that wouldn't absorb too much of the
emulsion. And when I'm coating on glass the brush gives a better effect;
less texture which is a problem with the roller for me too. I use a
little formaldehyde to harden before coating, plus some glycerine to aid
flow and plasticity.

The ambient temp has to be fairly high and I keep the emulsion in a warm
water bath throughout. For glass, I warm it beforehand with a hairdryer
to flow the emulsion on.I find I get a fairly even coat this way, and a
good finish. I use two coats only to get Dmax and all my work tones well
without paper staining.

At the moment I'm using the S&W paper and Hahnemuhle printmaking paper,
which is very soft and needs sizing. I don't mind the hassle of sizing
to get good useable paper. I size in baths btw, not by brushing, but for
gum brush size between coats.

I think the discussion about vellum related to platinum only, and given
the more viscous nature of silver emulsion I'm not surprised you were
disappointed with the results.

I haven't ever had any trouble with sharpness on handcoated
emulsion.....I like a little texture on the paper but I don't feel that
affects sharpness much if at all. This image is coated
with two layers as above, is enlarged from 35mm film and selenium then
sepia toned. The detail is very fine and as the film was 25ASA the grain
is not at all obvious.


-----Original Message-----
From: Ryuji Suzuki []
Sent: Sunday, 11 July 2004 3:56 p.m.
Subject: coating with rollers, vellum, Fabriano Artistico

I have been trying to coat paper with silver gelatin emulsion using
roller method. The goal is to make the coating as even as possible and
as smooth as possible. Rather constant coating weight is also

I've found two general strategies work reasonably. One is to coat with
soaked roller with very gentle pressure. This gives me a lot of
emulsion in the area where I stop the roller, but the surface is
smooth. Another is to use tightly squeezed roller with strong
pressure. This gives me even coating but the surface tends to be
textured, even with the roller that claims to give very smooth
surface. Is there a better technique than these?

Following the discussion here some time ago that vellum gives very
sharp prints, I gave it a try. What a disappointment. The paper gets
reticulated a moment after coating, even if I coat very fast. If I
coat slowly, it'll reticulate while coating. Is this just the
particular paper I bought? The paper is 70 g/m^2 and it was the
heaviest vellum I found in my local store. Also, it was almost
impossible to coat with enough coating weight to achieve satisfactory
contrast and Dmax. I wonder if users of other processes can get by
with much thinner coating than mine... The paper itself was strong
enough in processing solution and washing water.

I am also trying Fabriano Artistico pure white "soft press" 300 g/m^2.
I asked for hot press but they said they don't have it and gave me
soft press as the closest surface. It didnt look very smooth surface
but I tried it anyway. I coated this paper with emulsion without any
additional sizing, but the paper seems to dry much flatter than other
papers I've tried (mostly Rives BFK and Magnani Pescia, both
300g/m^2). (I didn't print/process this batch of paper because it was
time to coat my teeth with Sangiovese...)

Ryuji Suzuki
"You have to realize that junk is not the problem in and of itself.
Junk is the symptom, not the problem."
(Bob Dylan 1971; source: No Direction Home by Robert Shelton)
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Received on Mon Jul 12 18:58:53 2004

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