Help with what I believe is a hardening issue

From: ericawd ^lt;[email protected]>
Date: 11/09/04-06:36:05 PM Z
Message-id: <1b1501c4c6bd$443418c0$385825d8@00hb8>

I am mainly a lurker/gum printer who has learned a great deal from the list.
I could use some advice.

I am having the same problem described below by Judy Seigel. I have come to
the conclusion that the problem is the fact that the formaldehyde I am using
is approximately 3-5 years old and is no longer hardening. I have tried
every avenue I could think of to replace it locally in Memphis, Tennessee to
absolutely no avail. I used to buy it at a drug store, but one now needs a
prescription in order to purchase it.

Purchasing formaldehyde on line takes at least a week. I have a show coming
up and need all the time I can to work on prints. The Formulary only sells
glyoxal. I am a little desperate. I really can't afford losing a week of

Some of the questions I have are:

I use the shrink the paper, gelatin coating, harden, gelatin, final
formaldehyde hardening method. I have several sheets of BFK at the final
hardening stage and really don't want to waste the time and materials. The
formaldehyde used in the third step was very weak. Can I come behind it
with a soaking in glyoxal hardener? Or will I drop dead on the spot?

Does anyone know of a source for formaldehyde? I have tried the local
college, chemical companies (they carry it only in 55 gallon drums and as I
said pharmacies. Is the prescription law a state law or fed law. I called
a couple of places in northern Mississippi but couldn't find anyone who
carried it in the first place in order to know if I could purchase there.
Does anyone know if it is a federal law.

I am fairly certain of the problem, since it got really bad when I mixed up
"new" solution from the as of now very old formaldehyde. Does anyone know
of another problem that could be causing the speckles. Everything else is
as it was. (There is no pollen in my darkroom-there are no windows that
open in my building, being in Memphis it is air conditioned or heated year

Sorry for the long post, but as I said I am a little desperate.

On Tuesday, May 04, 2004 8:53 PM Judy Seigel wrote:

I had taught a gum workshop at ICP about 10 years ago, and a month later
got a frantic call from one of the students: Her gum prints were coming
out all speckled. She couldn't get any image at all, just speckling. So I
told her to come over and we spent the afternoon, testing her paints on
her paper, her paints on my paper, her gum on her paper, her gum on my
paper, etc.... Though it didn't happen that neatly, but was some time
before we formulated that method. Ultimately it became clear that ANY
paints and any gum speckled on her paper. And not on mine. Finally, she
had a thought: She'd gone to her home in Vermont and gelatin sized the
paper there. While the paper (Rives BFK, BTW) was out all over the house
freshly gelatined to dry, she noticed a strange kind of pollen in the
air... settling as a yellow powder over everything.

She sized new paper in town and had no further problems.

Sorry for the long post, but as I said I am a little desperate.

Thank you,

Candace Spearman,
Memphis, Tennessee
Received on Tue Nov 9 18:35:43 2004

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