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

Re: Gum on masa, again

Thanks, Rajul for your thoughtful response, but if I have to mount
this paper on something else, I'm just not at all interested in
pursuing it.

On Oct 10, 2008, at 10:21 AM, Rajul wrote:

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
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 let
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 but
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
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
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.