Re: Help with what I believe is a hardening issue

From: Christina Z. Anderson ^lt;[email protected]>
Date: 11/09/04-07:23:03 PM Z
Message-id: <00b501c4c6c4$132f8eb0$6101a8c0@your6bvpxyztoq>

    I feel for you...
     Formaldehyde is 37% solution of paraformaldehyde powder. You can get
it from Tri Ess Sciences in Burbank CA (800-274-6910) and mix your own
solution. I think you still have to pay a hazard charge. If they no longer
send it out, that's news to me, because I got mine there not tooooo terribly
long ago when I was lith printing.
     You could possibly rush order it.
     Until then I suggest you try another hardener--rush order glyoxal from
Bostick, or no hardener if you are using Fabriano Artistico. Jerry's
Artarama sends it out really quickly, if that is an option, and they are in
NC not too far away from you. At $2.70 a sheet it's a steal (i think that is
the price but I am too lazy to check my catalog).
     I know nothing about glyoxal over formal, but maybe you'll discover a
new thing.
     You could also just brush on unhardened gelatin between coats for a
stop gap measure, or even rub it on with a cloth as they used to do in days
of old.
     Let us know what you discover.
----- Original Message -----
From: "ericawd" <>
To: <>
Sent: Tuesday, November 09, 2004 7:36 PM
Subject: Help with what I believe is a hardening issue

>I am mainly a lurker/gum printer who has learned a great deal from the
> 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
> working.
> 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
> round.
> 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 19:26:18 2004

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