[alt-photo] Fumed Silica, Simili Japon and pure platinum printing

C.Breukel at lumc.nl C.Breukel at lumc.nl
Mon Apr 16 07:35:43 GMT 2012

This weekend I finally got a change to test Fumed Silica. I obtained a little jar of the stuff via a friend who uses it in building polyester boats (as a thickening agent, he does not now the exact name of the stuff, its Aerosil he said..)

I almost exclusively use Simli Japon for my pure platinum prints; it's a paper with a quite smooth surface.

Coating the Fumed Silica;

I used an ordinary foam paint roller, a heap of the silica and rolled it extensively into the paper (just like the video Dick posted: keep rolling till no more stuff wants into the paper, and than roll more). I did it outside with a dust mask and gloves (should not be windy!)

After some practice I believe I obtained an even coat.

The coated side of the paper has a distinctly different feel over it; it's much rougher, almost like a very fine sand paper like feel

Coating the Pt;

Dick advised against rod coating, nevertheless I tried it and with the same amount I usually used, coating with a glass rod went smooth, no problems, perhaps the "drag" was a bit stronger on the rod


First thing to notice: printing is about 1/4 stop faster (not a bad thing: with my Pyro negs I sometimes run into 1 hour exposure times..Pt is sloooow)

The effects on Dmax are there, not like wow, but it's there for sure, side by side the fumed silica primed print has more snap due to the higher Dmax.

I guess every paper will react differently and has to be treated differently, but for my printing routine Fumed Silica has definitely a distinct bonus, so: Thank you Dick!

Hope this is of some use,



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