U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: orotone

Re: orotone

As you may recall, I posed this information once before. Immogene Cunningham was Sheriff Curtis' assistant, running or working in his lab in Long Beach. She described the process as you had, but the final step to put the gold tone on the back was to go directly to 'shellac' and sprinkling a generous abount of brass, instead of gold, dust on the plate.

Beautiful result on orotones, or Curtistones. Cunningham, a brilliant phtographer, was a chemist by the way. In Paris she studied botany, not photography.
----- Original Message ----- From: "Robert" <rc3@flash.net>
To: <alt-photo-process-l@usask.ca>
Sent: Tuesday, October 02, 2007 7:44 PM
Subject: RE: orotone

I will try to explain how they are made. Bear in mind I am still refining
the process. I have not found a lot of information through my search. There
is some in the wet plate forum. The orotone is a projected image onto a
glass plate using the standard collodion for a positive image. I use a zone
6 cold light and expose for 30 sec to a minute with my lens open to f5.6. I
dilute my developer (positive developer with sugar) 2to1 and develop for 60

Fix the plate wash it. Next bleach it then tone or intensifying with sodium
sulfate this gives the shadows rather than the highlights brown scale or
tint, the toning is giving me the most problems and I am slowly getting the
right dilution.

Dry plate and vanish it. Take second glass plate and brush on gold leaf
paint. (I pour the paint) The paint that works for me is the one that has a
black tinted binder for the metal in the gold leaf, Metal is probably brass
and copper. This seems to be key to what Curtis did. Black matrix and metal
gives the effect of grain

Place the positive image plate against the gold leaf plate. I hot glue the
edges to bond it.

Best regards,
Robert Cockrell

-----Original Message-----
From: kerik@kerik.com [mailto:kerik@kerik.com]
Sent: Tuesday, October 02, 2007 2:58 PM
To: alt-photo-process-l@usask.ca
Subject: RE: orotone


These are interesting. Do you want to share some of the details of how you
make these?


Original Message:
From: Robert rc3@flash.net
Date: Tue, 02 Oct 2007 14:39:34 -0700
To: alt-photo-process-l@usask.ca
Subject: RE: orotone

Have just put some orotone images on the web. The address is:


For some reason I am unable to get a good scan of these. Maybe because of
the gold leaf. They are much better than my scans show. Mark here are some
real orotone. If any one would like try and get a better scan for me.
Contact me off list and I will send one to you.

Best regards,
Robert Cockrell

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