U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Thanks Keith (my hero!) Re: Gum on masa, again

Thanks Keith (my hero!) Re: Gum on masa, again

Okay, I've had to introduce some slight variations, since I don't use trays but sinks, and can't rock the sinks. What I'm doing is setting the half sheet of coated and printed paper on a sheet of 16x20 mylar and introducing it into the water, face up, supported by the mylar sheet. I can't seem to stop myself from swishing the print around to wash the dichromate out before leaving it in the water to develop, face up, but as long as the paper is supported by the mylar as I wash waves of water over it, it seems to be fine. I leave the mylar sheet under it; it fairly quickly settles to the bottom, but when I want to wash some more water across, I just bring the mylar up under it. Then when it's time to take the print out, I bring it out supported by the mylar, as Keith suggested. Works like a charm; three prints on half sheets so far, and not a crease in sight. I'm still trying to get the hang of coating the stuff though; my usual coating mix doesn't work well at all and I have to keep adding more and more water to get it to coat nicely, and then I'm not pleased with the tonality with the added water. But those are details, not obstacles.

I've used my last sheet of sized paper, so will have to size more before experimenting further, but just wanted to thank Keith for his comments and suggestions. Very helpful, thank you.

On Oct 12, 2008, at 12:49 PM, Keith Gerling wrote:

I find masa extremely difficult to handle when wet. I usually "scoop"
it out of the water - developing it face up - with a sheet of aluminum
or plexiglass, hang it up clinging to the support, and then peel the
print off of the support after it has dried a little. Certainly it is
understandable that you would get creases.

On Thu, Oct 9, 2008 at 10:35 PM, Katharine Thayer <kthayer@pacifier.com> wrote:

Well, folks, I've been tearing my hair out trying to print on this paper,
and it's not working well for me at all. I've re-read the latest discussion
on the subject, and I don't see anywhere anyone mentioning the problem that
is making the paper impossible for me. I've adjusted my coating mix to its
requirements so it coats okay, though the paper tends to go wavy as it
absorbs the coating, and it prints fine, but 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. Does this happen to no one but me? Do you use a
screen or something to support the paper in the water, the way one would
with a delicate Japanese paper?

Someone suggested that being such a cheap paper, maybe there are large
inconsistencies between batches so that none of us are actually using the
same paper, which would explain why people have such different experiences
with it. Keith recently suggested that "there are a few interesting little
surprises that await those who are willing to experiment" with this paper;
is this one of them? If so, I'm not delighted.