U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: Paper Negative Details

Re: Paper Negative Details

At 10:56 PM 12/5/07 -0500, Judy Seigel wrote:

On 5 dec 2007, at 18:02, pulpfic@telus.net wrote:

Rabbit glue in North American-speak is gelatin.
On Wed, 5 Dec 2007, henk thijs wrote:

Just try some paper like a 300 grams Fabriano or whatever, just coat with some gelatine, try an inkjet print on a printer like an Epson 1290 with dye or pigment ink, and you will clearly see that it is a mess.
Try the rabbit glue, do the same  and be astonished.
I did my homework, it toke me some time, did you ??
Anyway, succes,

Listen to Henk.  He's always right.

Also, note that in the world of art materials, it's AFAIK only called "rabbit glue" in Doerner, which I let stand for "Europe"... In the US, in Mayer, for instance, and any time I've heard it mentioned, it's "rabbit skin glue."  Anyway, it's made "from the clippings of rabbit skins" and used in grounds for oil paintings for its "great strength."  Although Keith Gerling used it as paper size with great success, I don't know if he still does.  (I tried it because he recommended it, but, it didn't, as it were, speak to me.)

I guess if you want to make a federal case out of it, rabbit skin glue would be a form of gelatin also (Yes?, No?) but in the field of both art and art photography, in the US at least, "gelatin" in industry tends to be a "porcine" product, as outlined on the package of several kinds I bought. It's also classified by "weight" (or bloom?), a saga in itself, which I have mercifully repressed.

I size paper with Knox (unflavored) cooking gelatin, which does not, or not officially, contain pig. The virtue, among others, is that its readily available, modest in price, & generally uniform. (Neither rabbit nor porcine is kosher, tho Knox is... in case you wish to devour art.)

I'll add that when Kodak was having some serious product problems circa early 20th century, they turned out to be related to the gelatin, which with so much money at stake, was made subject of a big study, as explained long ago on the old hist. of photog. list. AFAIK, rabbit skin glue has not had the same commercial importance, which presumably means less study (except by Henk and cohorts).


Oh, okay, it's a matter of species, then. I got my bookbinding "hide glue" which is basically gelatin, confused with rabbit skin glue; thinking that one hide is like another. I should keep my bookbinding out of my alt-photo, at least when defining materials. Mea culpa'n'all.

Take care,