U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: question on sizing

Re: question on sizing

  • To: alt-photo-process-l@usask.ca
  • Subject: Re: question on sizing
  • From: Dirk-Jan Treffers <dirkjan.treffers@gmail.com>
  • Date: Sun, 07 Sep 2008 18:12:37 +0200
  • Comments: "alt-photo-process mailing list"
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thanx Chris!

I'll try to experiment more with the sizing, since this is quite 'new' to me. (For cyanotype it isn't necessary)...

and about your first comment: You're WAY more experienced them I am, so you'll probablybe able to help with lots more things... I just need to make sure I finally get the proces a bit more unde control, so I will be able to identify problems and ask for solutions on this list. For now, me problems mainly look like 'hmmm after three layers it looks far to reddish to me'. And that kind of problems of course, i figure out on my own by either making a fourth layer with extra blue, or using less pigment in my red layer, or using a different kind of red pigment... for that kind of solutions by the way, I find the website http://www.handprint.com/HP/WCL/water.html  on water colours VERY helpful... But i guess that's a website you guys already know of course ;-) So in the future, be ware of more of my problems/questions ;-)
For now, I'm just lurking and reading on other peoples questions and learning from that!

but than again, thanx for your help!


(by the way... I already have your book 'Alternative processes Condensed', but I heard from Kees Brandenburg that you're working on a special book on gum only. Any idea when that will be published???)

2008/9/7 Christina Z. Anderson <zphoto@montana.net>
Hi DJ,
So now I can help YOU.  Those spots are called "fish-eyes".  There are a number of causes and this, too, plagued people back in the 1800's.  They had different explanations for it.  I find that some pigments are oilier than others--yellow rarely fisheyes for me but magenta does often.  I thought this was because I was usually using magenta as my last layer and thus there was a slicker surface of exposed gum layers below to make it fish eye, but when I use magenta as my first layer it does it.
You may be right in that your sizing is causing this, either by unevenness or that the layer is a bit oily.  How to get rid of them is let the layer set for a few seconds and then brush, brush, brush, say, with a dry hake brush to even them out.  This sometimes works.
Otherwise, make sure your gum mix is not too liquidy, because when my coating solution is less viscous this happens more often.  So you might try adding a little gum powder to thicken the layer so it doesn't separate.
As a last resort, do your gum print and fill in the missing color with Prismacolor color pencils when the gum print is finished.
One 19th century explanation talked about at length in the British Journal of Photography was that when the dichromate was added to the gum/pigment, little balls of insoluble gum (like fish eggs) would form and "part the waters" so to speak.  One man professed to see it under the microscope, these little globules.  Who knows if this is correct, but it seems a bit far fetched.
I sympathize with you because fish eyes are a PAIN.
Christina Z. Anderson
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Sunday, September 07, 2008 4:59 AM
Subject: question on sizing

dear list members,

I'm a novice at all these processes, so maybe you've encountered this problem a thousand times allready, but maybe you guys (and gals) can help me out:

for tri-colour gum printing, I size my paper. Although I don't think my paper (Arches Aquarelle, 300 g/m, i use both cold and hot pressed) doesn't really need sizing, I last found this paper from bamboo that I like, that actually does need it.

I size with a 3% gelatin solution, with glyoxal as my hardening agent. After drying (single coat of gelatine-size), I notice that my gym/pigment/dichromate solution doesn't really stick on some small parts of the paper. When I use non-hardened paper, I need more of the gum-dichromate solution to coat my paper (but I don't actually mind this.....). On the hardened paper, I need less volume of gum-chrom. solution. But in general, it works fine, but there are (often) small parts, where the paper looke tike it 'rejects' the solution. Don't really know how explain this, but it looks a bit like the paper on that particular spot, doesn;t absorb water-like soltions).

Does any one have any ideas on this? How to size in a way that these spot son't occur any more? Or is sizing on Arches Aquarelle perhaps not even necessary (an idea that I would really like, since this sizing stuff is really boring....)?

Would love to hear your ideas on this issue!

kind reagrd,