U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: cyanotype toning and staining

Re: cyanotype toning and staining

I haven't toned cyanotype for quite a while, but I dare say the principles remain the same. Toning with tea is general, that is, the paper base and the image will be toned by the tea about equally. You can probably rinse some out, but the lightening won't as a rule be image-wise.

However, if you tone with a particular chemical, in this case tannic acid is mentioned, if you follow correct procedure rather than just overall soak, that is bleach first (which bleaches the image) with an alkali then rinse, and then "tone" with the tannic acid, the toning should be image-wise, replacing the blue image bleached out by the alkali. Then the tone, if it *has* stained the paper base, will wash out where there's no image quite quickly, leaving just the toned *image*, which is quite permanent.

There are also many possibilities for back & forth, or split toning, which can render shades from purple to black,

I cover that in Post-Factory #5 -- don't have one on tap now, tho if some generous person has it could look it up & reveal.

But the moral of this story, if I may be permitted the school marm tone, or even if not -- is you do yourself no favor to follow something you heard wherever by guess and by golly, then "ask the list." There are MANY sources of more or less complete information (tho in this issue, I dare say none to that date anyway complete as P-F --- the Keepers of Light section on cyano toning was off the wall). So if you count your time & materials as worth anything, it pays in the short run as well as the long when something is this well known to start there, and skip the "something like whatever" which can come later, after you've got the feel of it... then is the time to experiment.


On Wed, 6 Jun 2007, Matti Koskinen wrote:

Hi Loris,

and thanks. The papers I've been using are Canson Montval, Canson Bristol and several no-name aquarelle papers. The staining is quite bad, also the other side of the paper is heavily stained. Too strong solution of tea? The tannic acid I found was from a winemaker shop, and it has distinct strong read colour. Couldn't find tannin, I saw as a kid, when my father made his wines, it was pale brownish powder. Might work better this variety. Pharmacies used to be places, where strange chemicals could be bought, but nowadays all they have is some stuff for food preparation. Few years back, I bought potassium dichromate from a pharmacy, luckily quite a lot of it, and still have the other container un-opened. Cyanotype chemicals e.g can't be get any more, have to use a ready cyanotype kit. (which is the only alt-proc kit available here in Finland)

What are the regulations concerning mailing chemistry from abroad? In Great Britain are other alt kits availabe and then there are companies in the U.S. But are these substances so hazardous, they can't be mailed?