U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: 1st tricolor on Masa. Impressions...

Re: 1st tricolor on Masa. Impressions...

Loris, thanks for the speculation about the cracking, but it doesn't work, because I always keep the back of the paper wet while developing, and that was also the case here. The problem is not dry paper; the wetter the paper gets the worse the problem gets, for me. But thanks for thinking about it, anyway.

The thought about my paper being lighter/thinner is an interesting one, if Keith hadn't piped up and said that he also finds the paper extremely difficult to handle when wet, I would think that explains the difference between my experience and others, but as it is I'm inclined to think it's a function of the size of the paper, since Keith and I are printing at similar paper sizes.

I did find that I needed to add water to the coating mix, not because the coating needs to be thinner, but because the sized paper (smooth side) didn't coat as easily -- brush would drag and grab on the sized paper and make it difficult to smooth the coating out. Which is interesting because unsized, the paper coats very smoothly and nicely. So I followed Keith's suggestion and added water. I did find that the more liquid coating would go all wavy as I was coating, but because the paper is so thin, you can coat across the waves without causing any unevenness in the coating.

On Oct 12, 2008, at 1:11 PM, Loris Medici wrote:

Hi all,

I did a quick'n'dirty tricolor test on Masa. See the result below:


For this one, I used the same sizing method (1%, hardened with formalin),
coating solutions, exposure, development (automatic, 30-40 minutes,
changing water every 10 minutes) ect. I devised for Fabriano Artistico.
The negatives also were the same (curved regarding tests on Fabriano). So
this is quite far from what one can get; later, I should definitely test
for the optimum exposure time and curve for this particular paper...

Coating itself isn't hard, but as you can see in the print (blotches /
unevenness), you must devise a different coating protocol than what you do
with Fabriano. My first impression is that it needs a thinner coating,
because it provides less tooth to the emulsion(!?) - the surface
considerably slicker than Fabriano. Those blotches are due to uneven
coating; where there was more emulsion than what is actually needed, it
ended into the development water. Next time, I will try to dilute the
coating mix with water (as suggested by Keith) in order to thin the

The paper (size = 11x14") didn't cracked during the development stage
despite I wasn't overly cautious or delicate in handling. Probably larger
sizes would require more care and delicacy in handling, to diminish any
possibility of creasing and/or cracking (certainly, but I'm pretty sure
that I didn't got any cracks Katharine suffered, even after soaking the
paper overnight - and I wasn't light-handed).

Katharine, maybe (most probably!) your paper is different than mine
because both Daniel Smith and Jerry's Artarama (my supplier, I got my
paper from them in two batches, about 2.5 years ago and 1.5 year ago...)
list the paper as being 70gsm now, whereas in both of the packs I have on
hands, the paper is clearly labeled as being 86gsm!? If it was one
supplier I would be skeptical, but when more than one supplier list the
paper as being 70gsm, then we should think of different versions and/or
another "update" (which ruins the paper for our purposes) made by the

An idea (based on a speculation): Something that can be done to get rid of
the cracks, is to try to keep upper side of the paper evenly wet during
long soaks. (Speculation alert!) Maybe uneven wetness is causing the
cracks during development (due to uneven shrinkage / swelling). Therefore,
covering the upper surface with a scap piece of Mylar or Yupo (or similar
material as a moisture and gas barrier) would help keeping the upper side
evenly wet.

Anyway, FWIW, that's all for now. Hope that helps / adds something to you...

Will post other results after working out the optimum parameters.