U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: Van Dyke question(s)

Re: Van Dyke question(s)


I have a few lovely violet to red tinted VDs that I toned with gold before fixing some 20 years ago. Some of them have been shown but most have been stored in the dark and they all seem to remain unchanged. As far as I can remember, I was using Nelson's formula because it contained "hypo" which darkened the tones whereas other gold toner formulas left them much lighter. It was hard to control though, since the strength of hypo decreased with each print. I've had very little experience with Clerc's.

Seems to me that the consensus is that VDs are very permanent if properly processes. Since the silver is on the surface of the paper, it is subject to environmental damages. Problems is: what's "proper" processing? Sandy has testes a number of steps to ensure proper fixing and washing but "weird results" still showed up, even when the silver was all replaced by pd.


On Jan 14, 2008, at 11:52 PM, Judy Seigel wrote:

A friend has a commission for a series of prints in Van Dyke Brown, which she loves... but my experience with a beautiful VDB given to me by someone else and left out in normal living-room light (fluorescent, however) is that it faded noticeably -- in about 10 years. Though meanwhile I have a VDB on glass by Galina that's been hanging in a window for several years and shows no change at all... I figure, however, that it must have been toned.

So I told her that:

1. The prints wouldn't be archival unless they were toned, and,

2. Gold toning wouldn't seriously change the color (which was much of the appeal).

But then I thought, it's at least 10 years -- maybe more -- since I gold toned a VDB. Do I *really* remember the color? So I said, I'll ask The List... "they'll know."

I'm also going to give her Liam's wonderful article about "Make your own gold chloride" from P-F, though she said she doesn't have any gold teeth or old wedding rings tucked away. (Possibly a gold coin or two, tho my guess would be that the coin is worth more than the equivalent amount of gold dust would cost.)

Anyway, comments on toning VDB for archivality, et al., would be much appreciated... (I also toned VDB with palladium toner, which gave a rich deep black, but this quest is for the beautiful VDB brown. Would selenium work? Can you still get selenium?)