[alt-photo] Re: casein

Christina Anderson zphoto at montana.net
Tue Mar 8 14:53:48 GMT 2011

Sam is the one. Seen it with my own eyes. He made a little teeny 1/4" drilled hole scoop and just scooped that powdered pigment and dichromate right in the mix.
Sam always quietly "tested the experts." But he didn't coat pt/pd with a rusty nail as Phil Davis did. Or did you, Sam?

Christina Z. Anderson

On Mar 8, 2011, at 7:43 AM, Keith Gerling wrote:

> Btw, Peter, you dont really HAVE to incorporate water even at the dichromate
> stage.  I believe Sam Wang just grinds dichromate right into the emulsion
> w/o even adding water?  If not Sam, then someone else I respect did or does
> that.
> On Tue, Mar 8, 2011 at 8:40 AM, Keith Gerling <keith.gerling at gmail.com>wrote:
>> Well, thanks for the advice about water.  I suppose we should be very
>> appreciative that you are willing to share that much!
>> On Tue, Mar 8, 2011 at 8:29 AM, Peter Blackburn <blackburnap at hotmail.com>wrote:
>>> Hello All!
>>> My fresh casein has the consistency and appearance of Elmer's Glue—maybe a
>>> tad thinner, but not much. I'm not sure how much I want to disclose about
>>> how I make my casein, but the fact that the powder form is difficult to
>>> dissolve reveals an important Achilles heel to using that method. One thing
>>> I will say—and this is just my opinion, but water is not your friend in the
>>> casein process. I take great care to eliminate as much water as I can from
>>> my casein. Water is NEVER used at any point in my production—zero, zip,
>>> nada. It's bad enough that water is added when I combine it with dichromate
>>> just before printing.
>>> Peter J. Blackburn
>>>> From: zphoto at montana.net
>>>> Date: Mon, 7 Mar 2011 21:03:42 -0700
>>>> To: alt-photo-process-list at lists.altphotolist.org
>>>> Subject: [alt-photo] Re: casein
>>>> 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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