[alt-photo] Re: casein

Christina Anderson zphoto at montana.net
Tue Mar 8 14:06:31 GMT 2011

The reason I asked is there are two kinds at Kremer, the thick honey stuff and the thinner other brand. It looks like the Kremer label is glued on top of Schmincke so Schmincke is the actual manufacturer of the thick honey stuff. Kremer also sells powdered caseinate. Try 10%. I mixed it from powder in my food processor (would've used a blender but my kids took it) and no more difficult than gum. It whips up like egg whites and then the foam subsides in an hour or two. Really. 400ml turns into 1 liter foam and then goes into normal gum-looking liquid very rapidly. Best part--plain water, no ammonia at all...
Christina Z. Anderson

On Mar 8, 2011, at 5:57 AM, Keith Gerling wrote:

> I first batch I made months ago: honey colored and VERY thick.  I just made
> another batch using Kremer and it's a real mess.  Thinner, whiter, and with
> globs I cannot get to dissolve even with more ammonia than I used before.
> Maybe I need to let this stuff age for awhile, while YOU do the research!
> How did you mix yours?
> On Mon, Mar 7, 2011 at 10:03 PM, Christina Anderson <zphoto at montana.net>wrote:
>> Keith,
>> (armchair caseinist here) I got my stuff from Kremer today and it is very
>> thick. Enos' recipe is very thin. Enos' is like as thin as half and half,
>> maybe even a bit thinner. Kremer's is like thick honey. Do you think that
>> might be why it seems not so much different than gum to you? It is so much
>> thinner than gum in my experiments and also the look is different: matte-ish
>> when exposed, developed, and dried, and holds a huge pigment load for being
>> very thin. I guess that relates to the "sturdy" part. I am actually quite
>> intrigued with it...
>> Maybe Peter can chime in with how thick his casein solution is that he
>> prefers (e.g. using some descriptive term like pours like yogurt, or heavy
>> cream, or skim milk, or half and half :))
>> Chris
>> Christina Z. Anderson
>> christinaZanderson.com
>> On Mar 4, 2011, at 1:34 PM, Keith Gerling wrote:
>>> I've been exploring casein since this thread began.  Here's a link to
>> three
>>> prints:
>> https://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2088679&id=1173961982&l=fefc42482b
>>> I have to say that there is something almost "wrong" about being able to
>>> towel them off right out of the water.  And the water does stink!  I see
>>> absolutely NO difference between gum and casein in the finished print.
>>> Coating the emulsion is a little different than with gum.  The casein
>>> emulsion is somewhat thicker than with gum, and as someone said, it can
>> be
>>> tricky to get it smoothed out before it dries, so I've been using a dry
>>> brush to "buff" out the brushstrokes, a step that I seldom do with gum
>>> anymore.  I guess you could say that one advantage is that I can actually
>>> brush another coat of casein emulsion over the top of a coat I've just
>>> applied but not yet exposed to light.  Like when more density is
>> required.
>>> Trying that with gum invariably causes the underlying layer to dissolve
>> and
>>> lift.
>>> All in all, it is a pretty nice process.  I cant see any compelling
>> reason
>>> to switch from gum to casein, but I'm glad I tried it.
>>> On Sat, Feb 26, 2011 at 3:59 PM, Christina Anderson <zphoto at montana.net
>>> wrote:
>>>> Thanks, Alberto and Peter, for the comments,
>>>> When viewing Franklin's casein prints in person, it seemed the grain was
>>>> very fine, miniscule. The colors were brighter but still transparent.
>>>> Delicate is the word I would describe. And the layer looked very finely
>>>> grained and very thin. Ultra thin. No gloss anywhere like in a gum
>> print. So
>>>> those were the differences I perceived in my lowly experience, only
>> seeing a
>>>> handful of caseins in person.
>>>> Just think, Alberto, I will be able to see your caseins in person soon!
>>>> Chris
>>>> Christina Z. Anderson
>>>> christinaZanderson.com
>>>> On Feb 26, 2011, at 2:52 PM, Peter Blackburn wrote:
>>>>> Hello Alberto:
>>>>> It's been my experience in gum/casein printing that how a print appears
>>>> does not necessarily have anything to do with just the vehicle/binder.
>> Here
>>>> in North Texas we have recently formed an alternative processes group
>> which
>>>> meets once a month—a wonderful and extremely talented group of artists I
>>>> must say. I have shown my gum and casein work together side-by-side and
>> no
>>>> one has been able to tell them apart. They are, or can be,
>>>> indistinguishable— which my point to them and to you is that gum and
>> casein
>>>> can be viewed as alternatives to each other. Both are saturated when I
>> want
>>>> them so, and subdued when the imagery calls for it. It's all based on
>> many
>>>> factors such as negative preparation, pigment choices, exposure, water
>> bath
>>>> handling, etc, etc. The only caveat here is that after working with
>> casein
>>>> for a long time, making it from powdered milk, then from dried casein,
>> and
>>>> now, directly from cheese, I find the direct method makse a great
>> difference
>>>> and is the best approach for my work.
>>>>> I still consider myself a dedicated gum printer and only resorted to
>>>> learning casein when several years back the weather did not cooperate
>> for
>>>> gum printing for many weeks. Sometime in the near future I will blog
>> about
>>>> that valuable experience and comment more on casein at
>>>> alternativephotography.com.
>>>>> Well, the heavy overcast today prevented both gum and casein printing
>>>> here in the Dallas area. Cheers all!
>>>>> Peter J. Blackburn
>>>>>> From: alt.list at albertonovo.it
>>>>>> To: alt-photo-process-list at lists.altphotolist.org
>>>>>> Date: Sat, 26 Feb 2011 22:23:02 +0100
>>>>>> Subject: [alt-photo] Re: casein
>>>>>>> Anyway, I do have a point to share in this email that may be of use
>> to
>>>> the one or two casein printers in existence: has anyone tried this from
>>>> Kremer instead of making the somewhat laborious casein/ammonia mixture?
>>>> SInce it uses borax and is already in suspension, it would seem to be a
>>>> great substitution. But I'm the first to admit I am an armchair casein
>>>> printer, never having done it, and certainly would not make it my
>> process of
>>>> choice because of my commitment to gum.
>>>>>>> I found the patent on casein as well. It is not 271 but patent
>>>> 2,716,061. 1955. Lupo. But two sources on the web said the process in
>> fact
>>>> dated from 1908 and don't know about that.
>>>>>> Chris, I made some casein prints some years ago. I tried both casein
>>>> form
>>>>>> acidified powdered milk and from pure casein, dissolved in borax and
>> in
>>>>>> ammonia. I deem the ammonia solution better than that in borax because
>>>> all
>>>>>> the excess of ammonia evaporates during drying.
>>>>>> In muy poor experience, I could define the look of gum and casein
>> print
>>>> as:
>>>>>> gum:watercolor=casein:tempera
>>>>>> My casein prints are in the Rodolfo Namias Group site, but I have to
>> say
>>>>>> that I was interested chiefly to apply the different behaviour of
>> casein
>>>> vs.
>>>>>> gum arabic to a few specific images and one pigment.
>>>>>> As for the patent, I can add that there are lot of patents about using
>>>>>> alkaline casein and dichromate as a resist for the etching of TV color
>>>>>> screens, chiefly because casein is insoluble in acids. So, the
>>>> alkalinizing
>>>>>> agent (sodium hydroxyde, borax and ammonia), the ratios with
>> dichromate,
>>>>>> etc. have benn well studied.
>>>>>> And finally, a member of Gruppo Namias tried casein print using my
>>>> detailed
>>>>>> notes, but he had very inconsistent results...
>>>>>> Alberto
>>>>>> www.grupponamias.com
>>>>>> www.alternativephotography.com/wp/photographers/rodolfo-namias-group
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