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

Re: Thanks Keith! Re: Gum on masa, again

After all the grousing I've done about masa the last couple of days, I thought it was only fair to share how I'm doing on trying to conquer this paper. This is the print from this morning, my last piece of sized paper, that I started printing the other day and finished today, the one that I was sure was going to be spoiled by pigment stain. There's a little stain here and there, but not what I expected, and some other technical flaws due to my difficulties in learning to handle the paper, but here it is regardless. The print is approximately 12x16"

I took the reproduction with my little digital point and shoot; it's not quite straight and the flash somehow picked up wrinkles in the paper that aren't visible in the real thing; at any rate it's not an exhibition-quality print but I'm intrigued enough with the paper that I will definitely size some more and continue to experiment. To me, mastering this paper is somewhat like trying to keep from getting bucked off a bronco at a rodeo, but I think I'm gradually starting to get the hang of it.

I like the way color blends on it, and I like the slight glossiness of the paper that gives the print a nice crisp finish. But there's definitely a steep learning curve associated with it, unlike any other paper I've ever printed on, and I've printed on a lot of different papers.


On Oct 15, 2008, at 12:53 PM, Keith Gerling wrote:

Wow, a Hero! Glad it worked.

On Tue, Oct 14, 2008 at 2:49 PM, Katharine Thayer <kthayer@pacifier.com> wrote:

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>

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
on the subject, and I don't see anywhere anyone mentioning the problem
is making the paper impossible for me. I've adjusted my coating mix to
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
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
with it. Keith recently suggested that "there are a few interesting
surprises that await those who are willing to experiment" with this
is this one of them? If so, I'm not delighted.