Re: New Cyanotype

From: Christina Z. Anderson ^lt;[email protected]>
Date: 05/19/04-09:39:23 PM Z
Message-id: <004001c43e1c$62866dc0$823dad42@oemcomputer>

Good morning!
     Judy writes at night, I write in the morning...
     Well, since I got my gum room started yesterday, I decided to do a
test; I coated 3 surfaces (Artistico cold, soft, hot) with both the
traditional cyanotype and the Ware's formula, so 6 prints in all under 2
different negatives, all printed exactly at 4 minutes under my Edwards UV
light box (traditional mixed 2A:1B).
     It's not the water, because I developed them all in the same bathtub
(wellwater). There was considerable running of the blue on the traditional,
and none on the Ware's. The Ware's looks different when exposed (it is
silver blue and navy vs. the traditional which is olive and greenish), the
Ware's is faster so 4 minutes with a digineg was overexposed.
     Today, the traditional is a nice, soft darker blue, the Ware's is a
deep, rich navy (also overexposed, tho).
     However, I noticed more running on 2 of the traditional prints, and my
guess is that the running is due to paper--type or surface, the coating
process, and how long the coated print dries, more than the water. So yes,
the absorbency of paper could well be more the culprit than the water.
     I'll keep working with these variables over the next month and see
     For what it is worth, I am thinking the blue of the traditional would
be much more suitable than the navy of the Ware's for doing gumovers, which
is what these are for.
     The other factor for preferring one or the other would be how they
tone; haven't done side by sides on that, but I know the traditional on
fabric with sodium carbonate and tannic acid gave an incredible rich coffee
red brown when I toned it this spring. I returned it briefly to the sod carb
after the tannic acid bath

----- Original Message -----
From: "Judy Seigel" <>
To: <>
Sent: Wednesday, May 19, 2004 9:51 PM
Subject: Re: New Cyanotype

> On Wed, 19 May 2004, Loris Medici wrote:
> > Judy, happy for you but ... blue water is a standard issue for me (I
> > coat).
> Loris, reading your comments, and Chris's, I doubt it's an act of genius
> to see the water as a major variable... The first person I heard mention
> the blue water was Mike Ware, so I thought maybe it was European... But
> now it seems like it could be pH (?). I don't have a viable pH meter---
> do you?
> But here's something I have heard mentioned, though when, where and
> exactly in what cause, I don't recall -- that doing the first
> wash after exposure in distilled water was very helpful, cutting down
> after shocks of whatever kind. And one other thing I did see -- although
> apparently New York and Brooklyn water are impeccable in development -- I
> was following an old formula that said a citric acid bath before
> development would intensify. Instead it stained the paper blue.
> Meanwhile, is it possible that a more absorbent paper would bleed less??
> Judy
> That's why I'm overexposing my cyanotypes incredibly - I never
> > understood the "expose for highlights becoming one - one and a half stop
> > darker than what you want in the final print" suggestion... If I do it
> > way, I get empty highlights, highlight-like midtones and weak shadows.
> > if I expose the print until the shadows are completely reversed,
> > reversed but less than shadows and highlights blue (zone IV I'd say)
then I
> > get the print I want (after the print turning the first development tray
> > dark green/prussian blue - 2 mins - and the second one very weak
cyan/aqua -
> > 2 mins - and clear in the third one - again 2 mins). The only case I
> > blue water was when I was adding gum arabic (4 drops to 20ml sensitizer)
> > 10% potassium dichromate (2 - 3 drops to 20ml sensitizer) to the
> > In that case the shadows would look almost whitish in development and
> > dissolve in the development water (in my case, it's mainly the
dissolving of
> > shadows that makes the water prussian blue) and sometimes it would
> > to deep blue in peroxide bath only, not before. And yes, my paper's not
> > absorbent - I had best results adding 2 - 3 drops of ILFOTOL to 20ml
> > sensitizer (that's a wetting agent similar to Photo-Flo) - but I don't
> > any puddling when I coat; the paper gets matte in one to two mins. BTW,
> > use 0.1% citric acid as developer (1gr to 1lt) in order to compensate -
> > maybe - alkaline wash water (not scientific, I didn't even try to
> > the PH of our tap water - what I know is it stinks chlorine!).
Received on Thu May 20 09:44:32 2004

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