RE: New Cyanotype

From: Rick Retzlaff ^lt;[email protected]>
Date: 05/13/04-10:32:32 AM Z
Message-id: <>

I do a lot of cyanotype printing. I made the transition from traditional to
the new cyanotype about two years ago. I too liked the idea of a deeper
Dmax. I have probably printed over 100 prints (very large format -- up to
42 in.) and gone through about seven batches of the solution. I have the
following comments:

-- it is very paper sensitive -- I tested about 20 papers and finally
settled on drafting velum. It retains a lot of detail and gives a very
satisfying deep blue.

-- I have found problems with the batch to batch consistency -- each new
batch is a bit of a learning process. The contrast tends to change and I
have had some batches that are just plain bad -- problems in clearing the
highlights and staining.

-- my most recent solution has exhibited a weird crystalline behavior --
upon coating rather than a nice even solution coating, very small crystals
seem to appear on the paper. This tends to lead to streaking and a slightly
grainy structure. I'm not too sure why.

-- I believe the key is in the proper mixing up of the solution. I don't
know the chemistry
-- I am an engineer -- but it seems that very vigorous mixing and during the
preparation is critical. Mike Ware has suggested recently to pre-dissolve
the potassium Fericyanide to avoid maybe some of the problems with having to
powder it and mix it into the solution later. There is a new procedure on

-- on the positive side -- when it works it really works. I have made some
very nice prints with it.

-- as for processing -- a wash for a few minutes in 2% of citric acid
solution and warm water changed a few times. A bath of hydrogen peroxid
oxidizes it and brings out the deep colors immediately.

As for keeping the chemicals in the dark -- I do keep it in original
packaging (just a white plastic bottle) I keep it in a cupboard that is
mostly dark. I don't think it is to light sensitive.

Rick Retzlaff

-----Original Message-----
From: Loris Medici []
Sent: Thursday, May 13, 2004 3:37 AM
Subject: New Cyanotype

I will prepare/mix "new cyanotype" this weekend. Any remarks on what can
go wrong or what should I pay attention - from those who did it before -
will be appreciated. BTW, I keep Ammonium Iron(III) Oxalate in B&S's
original packaging and not in dark. Is there any possibility of
"fogging" (because it says light sensitive)? I would also like to
receive remarks/suggestions (about paper, printing/exposing,
processing/clearing ect.) from people who had made the transition from
classic cyanotype to new cyanotype. I'm expecting a better dmax compared
to double coated classic cyanotype - do you find this possible?

Received on Thu May 13 10:51:19 2004

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