U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: humidity and gum coating (was: Re: palladium bleeding once again

Re: humidity and gum coating (was: Re: palladium bleeding once again

Yep, that sounds exactly like my method; just shows there's nothing new under the sun. Thanks for looking that up for me.

I did just try this with Arches bright white, and it seemed to work fine (although for a while I didn't think it would, as the soluble coating in the beginning of development was coming off the less- exposed areas in a really ugly splotchy fashion). But it wasn't a good test, really; I should have done it yesterday when the humidity was so low and I was having difficulty getting the coating to brush on smoothly.

On Sep 2, 2006, at 6:29 PM, Venkatram Iyer wrote:

To alleviate your distress, the text explains:

Soak the paper in room temperature water (I dunked it in water, hung it till it stopped dripping). Place it on coating board, gently blot it till no visible water reflection is visible and apply the emulsion. You may not need to even out the coat with a hake. Dry in semidark or force dry with hairdryer set on cool. Best to expose after the coat dries.

Hope this works. Rajul

On 2-Sep-06, at 5:16 PM, Katharine Thayer wrote:

On Sep 2, 2006, at 4:22 PM, Venkatram Iyer wrote:

Christopher James in his book on Alternative Photographic Processes describes the wet coating technique on p. 235. I have tried it and it works really well. Rajul

Thanks, Rajul. I just found out something distressing, though; when I went to dig James out of a box (I still don't have my books unpacked) I found that I don't have any of my alternative-process- related books with me. That box must have gone into storage by accident, along with my statistics books.

So does he basically recommend soaking the paper and blotting it before coating, as I did, or is his wet-coating method something different than that? Thanks,

On 2-Sep-06, at 8:23 AM, Katharine Thayer wrote:

Chris, this makes me wonder if anyone has ever tried humidifying paper for gum coating, to make the coating easier in dry climates. The reason I'm wondering this is that my humidity, ordinarily >90%, has been way down for the last couple of days (17% yesterday afternoon) and I was having a heck of a time getting a smooth coat with my usual straight gum (no added water) mix. I decided that if this keeps up (unlikely) I'll need to start adding water to the mix, but your troubles with palladium gave me to wonder if anyone has reported humidifying the paper to make the coating easier. I do know that I once coated and printed on wet paper, just to see if it could be done, and it coated beautifully and printed fairly well, except for a sort of mottled effect in the background. Here's the test print I posted at the time:


At any rate, that combined with your explorations around palladium have led me to musing about whether humidifying might give a better result.


On Sep 1, 2006, at 10:10 PM, Christina Z. Anderson wrote:


Happy Labor Day weekend everyone! It may be a true "labor" weekend for this
household after all, because my daughter is having her baby in my bathtub
any day (or hour) now. Hmmm...that sounds strange....we do have hospitals
in MT....ohhhh, never mind...

At least I got somewhere today with the bleeding issue. My Platine shipment
came in and I was ever so excited to see if the new batch would be different
and not bleed. Alas...it still bled like crazy.

SO, it helped that Mark Nelson said that at the Formulary (also in
MT--similar humidity) they had to do two things to get good prints on Cot
320 this summer: humidify 30 minutes before coating and 30 minutes after.

I've watched the humidity all summer and it has hovered around 30%.

I messed around with the humidity and Everclear variables-- using Everclear
or not, humidifying before and not after coating, humidifying after and not
before coating, humidifying both before and after. I built myself a
makeshift humidity box with a couple of trays and stuck a gauge in there,

(Of course in the meantime throughout these tests I am racing first to the
hardware store for screening and then to the liquor store for my flask of
Everclear...I thought of downing the bottle on my way home.)

What I found was it was most important to humidify after coating, more
important than Everclear or having the paper humidified before. If I
humidified before coating, the paper tone was greyer and duller. If I
humidified after coating, for 30 minutes (70% humidity) while the paper was
drying, there was no bleeding. So it must be as Clay suggested-- the stuff is
drying too quickly on the paper surface and not sinking in enough. It was
so bad on a couple of my test sheets tonight that I could literally take my
finger, wipe the wet surface of the print, and have black stains on my
fingertip. I was losing quite a bit of density in the print all over,
including highlights, and even had serious staining/bleeding into the
highlight area, too.

So tomorrow I am going to have to develop a new set of curves with this
after-coating humidity factor, and will continue this procedure to see if,
in fact, the bleeding completely stops. I just have to find someone to
build me a drying/humidity rack, now....

I'm still puzzled, though, why during the last couple years I never
experienced this, and now I do. If someone has a friend at Arches, could
you ask if their paper sizing has changed in the last year?

BTW, that green ink on the Epson 2400 is sure as heck dense.

The end.