U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: Gum on masa, again

Re: Gum on masa, again

Katherine, I hesitated to chime in because I know that others on this
list have worked successfully with larger sizes than I use (~ 8 x 10")
and have had good results.

I too have run into the type of crease your "again" email demonstrates.
One of the things I found helps is making sure that the 3M photomount
adhesive covers the support fully before the Masa is laid on it, smooth
side down. I found this surface bound to the acetate support much
better than the rough side. The edges also need to adhere evenly and
firmly because otherwise the Masa can lift during the washes.

Do not give up at this point, you have spent time and learned from your
efforts. The outcomes can be stunning and although I have dwindling
stocks of traditional papers, I am enthused by what I get and want to
explore Masa thoroughly. I have done anywhere up to 6 gum passes on top
of Cyano and have had nothing but encouragement. I do HCHO-hardened
gelatin sizing after the first Cyano coat and do not re-size despite
repeated gum passes.

I hope this helps. Rajul

On 10-Oct-08, at 9:52 AM, Katharine Thayer wrote:

Um, well thanks, but I'm not finding this to be so, that the paper is
so strong it doesn't disintegrate in water if left to soak, even for a
long time, if "disintegrate" is interpreted broadly enough to include
these cracks I get in the backing (that's the word I was looking for,
cracks). I left a plain piece of the paper to soak overnight, just
to see what would happen, and the same thing: cracks in the fuzzy
backing, all over the paper. You see these cracks from the back
(upper surface as the paper is floating face downward) as dark lines,
and they also show in the face as narrow creases. So it's not that
I'm lifting the edges and causing these tiny creases in the paper,
it's soaking the paper that's causing the problem. Iit's as if the
fuzzy stuff separates slightly in places. So using a screen to
support the paper in the water wouldn't help the problem.

I was hoping to wake up to an answer this morning; I was hoping for
something like "oh, forgot to tell you about that part; you have to
pour Everclear on the paper before you coat it and that keeps it from
happening" or some such. When I did those little test prints a couple
of years ago, I didn't have this problem, but those papers were
smaller, more like 8x10. These papers I'm using now are half sheets,
15.5" by 21". I've now thrown away about a dozen half sheets and
spent two days at this; I could have bought three sheets of my usual
paper and had half a dozen nice prints by now. I guess for me this is
a lesson in the value of spending money to save money. It's really
fascinating how different people's experience is with different
materials. I was attracted to this paper by Keith's exclamation on
the list "I really love this paper!" and by his prints, and by
Rajul's and others' prints on masa, but now I can say without
reservation, "I truly despise this paper." Now I know how people feel
when they try something I've enthused about and they don't find it as
wonderful as I do.

I've always prided myself on being able to print gum on just about any
paper there is. I've printed on many Japanese papers including silk
tissue (now there's a paper that truly has wet strength!) on typing
paper, on cardstock, inkjet paper, Bristol board, mat board, on all
kinds of printing and watercolor papers, but I think this one has got
me beat.

On Oct 9, 2008, at 11:48 PM, Loris Medici wrote:


I don't think there are that much different batches of the same paper
circulate (as you describe in your previous message), because I
two packs of this with almost one year between the orders and it
different at all.

This paper is very strong in water (= won't disintegrate) even if you
it soaking for more than 24 hours. I know that because I've made
tissue on such soaked paper and there wasn't a slightest hint of

I didn't printed large (bigger than 9x12") on Masa and not many times
never had that type of creasing in the stage of development too.

I had wrinkles instead (especially while using hair dryer between
to work quickly).

I guess Keith would be more helpful in solving your problem with


10 Ekim 2008, Cuma, 8:17 am tarihinde, Katharine Thayer yazmış:

On Oct 9, 2008, at 8:35 PM, Katharine Thayer wrote:

 the thing that ruins prints for me is that when the paper gets wet
through, it becomes very fragile; any disturbance of the paper
(gently picking up an edge to look at how it's developing, etc)
opens a crease, almost a tear,  that tends to run diagonally across
the print but can go in any direction, and there can be more than
one of them.

In case anyone's having trouble picturing this:


this isn't the whole print, just as much of it as would fit on the
scanner bed.