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

Re: gelatin size

Hi Judy,

I was using 250 bloom gelatin. I've been mixing it up something like 7 grams of gelatin to 250 ml of distilled water, which I'm sure I read somewhere. No doubt I'm the only person who complains about the look and feel of gelatin-- but there's something about it I just don't like. Of course, I don't like the surface feel of Fabriano paper, either, but I don't hear anyone else complaining. Certainly, it does seem to work the very best (of the papers I've tried) for this process. I just can't stand the feel of it. But the gelatin just gives this-- I don't know-- almost plastic-like feel to the paper surface that that really bothers me. That look/feel tends to disappear somewhat once I start printing. Anyway, I'm sure it's just me. I did add a little more water to that mix another time and liked it much better, and it still seemed to work fine. I use a brush, but maybe I'll try your method.

I saw your other post about the PVA. I did figure out, after the fact, that I most likely had to coat between each layer. I probably didn't need to dilute it initially, either (?). That's too bad, though, because I actually did like it; it went on very smoothly and evenly, and that first layer of printing looked really good. After that, of course, it all went downhill. As usual.

Honestly, the glut seemed to do the trick for me-- that and cutting way back on the gum/dichromate mixture-- (thanks to Chris and Don for that bit of information) . . . oh, and exposing correctly-- and brushing/rollering everything on evenly-- and having the perfect negative for this process, and the perfect paper . . . and sizing properly, and . . .


On Apr 8, 2008, at 12:54 AM, Judy Seigel wrote:

On Mon, 7 Apr 2008, Diana Bloomfield wrote:

... I was actually trying to get away from gelatin as I just don't like what it does to the surface of the paper. Since then, I tried less gelatin and it looks better and still seems to work fine.

Diana, what kind of gelatin, at what bloom and what percent were you using?

Of course the whole business is personal preference times the paper choice plus the sizing method, the gum brand, and your middle initial, but I don't think I've heard anyone not like gelatin, so I'm curious.

I especially wonder how you applied it... (P-F #9, page 49, has a diagram of the technique I found easiest, most trouble free and long lasting -- squeegee gently against a tilted glass after vat sizing with a drop of defoamer in the gelatin).

True, it's easier to brush size ... but that's not as profound a size, it doesn't permeate the paper the same way, AND the paper, sized on one side only, WILL curl, which is a PITA. Also IME it doesn't hold up as well through many coats & soaks. (Tho I think I said that already.)