U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: Gallic acid; Was:

Re: Gallic acid; Was:

another easy way to optain (pure) tannin/tallic acid: Simple buy a
small jar at your local 'make your own wine at home' store. In my
hometown Utrecht (Holland), I bought two jars of 20 grams each for 3-4
euro per jar.... 40 grams will make 4 liters of toning liquid, enough
to last for (well...this all depends on how often you make cyantypes,
AND tone them....) but for me, on the occasional toning i do with
cyanotype, this will give me plenty of toner for a couple of years.
Best not to make one batch, but simply prepare a 1% solution (so, 10
grams per liter). If stored in brown jars, and hidden away from
sunlight, I see no reason why these powders can't last a couple of
years on the shelf...

after about 2 minutes of toning in the tannic acid, rinse in water,
and then finalize the toning in a 1% sodiumcarbonate solution (again
for 2 mins or so), again rinse in water, hang to dry... et voila!

(but i guess this information isn't new to you guys, as the experts...
just wanted to make my small contribution to the list!)

kind regards,


2008/8/23 Jack Fulton <jefulton1@comcast.net>:
> Native American basket makers have used oak galls boiled in water to make a
> dye. They also have used a rusty pan (iron) to make it darker. The galls
> have been powdered rather than cut up in pieces or used whole. Another way
> is to use a combination of ether and alcohol (watch out for the ether) but I
> don't know the ratio but assume it to be 50/50. That extracts the gallic
> acid from teh galls which is then very miscible with water. I'd refrain from
> using iron if you boil the galls for the iron can make speckles of stains
> like we have seen in cyanotypes from using water from the tap that includes
> small particles of iron coming from the pipes in the house.
> Chris is right in using walnut husks for they contain the acid as well.
> Here is some info garnered from an on-line encyclopedia:
> Common tannin, or tannic acid, C14I-i1509.2H20, occurs to the extent of 50%
> in gall-nuts, and also in tea, sumac and in other plants . It may be
> obtained by extracting powdered gall-nuts with a mixture of ether and
> alcohol, whereupon the tannin is taken up in the lower layer, which on
> separation and evaporation yields the acid . When pure the acid forms a
> colourless, amorphous mass, very soluble in water, less so in alcohol, and
> practically insoluble in ether .
> Jack F
> On Aug 23, 2008, at 10:34 AM, Christina Z. Anderson wrote:
> Hi Linda,
> I did not use oak per se but I used walnut husks and boiled a cup or two of
> them in a bunch of water for a while and used the water as the toning bath.
> I got my walnut husks from a basket maker.  The method is very loose because
> in basket lore, a basket maker would just have an old barrel filled with
> rain water and toss the walnuts in that and then use it for dyeing.  It is
> very archival.  I have NOT done this with cyanotype but with gelatin silver
> prints so I cannot guarantee it will directly apply to your situation.
> I have toned with gallic, though, that I bought from Artcraftchemicals.com
> Hope this helps,
> Chris
> __________________
> Christina Z. Anderson
> http://christinaZanderson.com/
> __________________
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Linda Stinchfield
> To: alt-photo-process-l@usask.ca
> Sent: Saturday, August 23, 2008 11:12 AM
> Subject: Re:Gallic acid; Was:
> Speaking of toning cyanotypes, I recently gave a cyanotype workshop for my
> book arts group, and we did some toning with tannic acid, using tea. I
> mentioned that gallic acid was also sometimes used but I'd never tried it.
> Well, someone from the group just gave me two bags (!) of oak galls. Does
> anyone know how to extract gallic acid from oak galls-- or even if it's
> possible?
> TIA,
> Linda
> On Aug 22, 2008, at 5:08 PM, Robert W. Schramm wrote:
> BTW cyanotype can be toned to achieve colors other that blue and white.
> Good luck with your work and welcome to alternative process printing.
> Bob Schramm