[Alt-photo] Re: Brushing gelatin on paper

Luciano Teghillo luciano at lucianoteghillo.com
Sun Dec 15 18:08:13 UTC 2013

Hi Diana,

I will give it a try if I only could find those types of paper here.

The Fabriano soft-press you use is textured? Also is it Traditional or Extra
By looking at the Fabriano site there are so many choices...
Artistico Traditional White:
Artistico Extra White: http://www.fabriano.com/p/en/15/artistico_extra_white

The BFK Rives heavyweight is this one?

Thanks for the help,

-----Original Message-----
From: alt-photo-process-list-bounces at lists.altphotolist.org
[mailto:alt-photo-process-list-bounces at lists.altphotolist.org] On Behalf Of
Diana Bloomfield
Sent: Sunday, December 15, 2013 6:45 PM
To: alt-photo-process-list at lists.altphotolist.org
Subject: [Alt-photo] Re: Brushing gelatin on paper

Hi Luciano,

This is just my experience, but when I used to size with gelatin, I never
felt I got things quite right, and once I started printing-- it worked out
okay-- no staining-- but I could always see a difference where the gelatin
went on too lightly in places.  I suspect the paper I was using was textured
enough that the gelatin was never absorbed evenly across the page.  That
unevenness always showed up in the final print (enough to bother me, though
maybe others didn't notice it).

And I'm sure lots of people still size their papers for gum, but there are
at least two papers out there that I've been using that require no sizing at
all (and I've made many multiple layers on prints). Other people on the list
use them as well-- which is where I got the information.  I also don't
pre-shrink these papers, and have made prints up to 17x17.  Maybe they would
be fine bigger, too, but I don't currently have the capability of making
bigger prints.  

One of the papers is Fabriano soft-press 140 lb; the other is BFK Rives
heavyweight.  I use both, and only just started using the BFK this past
year.  They're terrific.  And as long as they keep making these papers the
way they're made now, I would never go back to gelatin sizing (or any
sizing) for gum printing.

So when I read your description here, it just sounds so time-consuming and
tiresome and primitive-- when you really don't need to do it all.  Why not
try one of these papers, and don't bother with sizing?  


On Dec 15, 2013, at 12:30 PM, Luciano Teghillo wrote:

> Hi All,
> I have been looming in the back an enjoyed the wealth of information 
> all of you share. Of course I have not shared nothing because...well, 
> I am just getting my feet (actually my paper) wet, as you will see.
> I have a question on brushing gelatin on paper. I have prepared the 
> usual mix of 30% gelatin and kept it at about 45-50 C and brushed it 
> with a foam brush on the print side of my Fabriano Rosaspina paper.
> I brushed on two coats, after letting the first one dry for a day. 
> This morning I was getting ready to harden the paper in formalin but I 
> had the bad idea of comparing my sheets of paper with a couple of 
> scraps of papers I have from two previous workshops.
> The papers I was using as a comparison where noticeably more yellow 
> (both Fabriano Artistico, Traditional White) when looked on a light 
> table, so my doubt is that my paper did not receive enough gelatin. Of 
> course I cannot be sure because the samples I used for comparison have 
> been tray sized and not brush sized. Also, for least one, the gelatin 
> used is similar to Knox (Paneangeli for the Italians), while I used 
> Photographers' Formulary Hard Gelatin (250 Bloom).
> Also when I compare my sized paper against a sheet of the same unsized 
> paper, I cannot see any discernable difference, even under an 8x loupe.
> When brushing I load the foam brush, and move horizontally, vertically 
> and diagonally with speed (not quite the same as when you coat with 
> pigment, but almost), and make sure the brushing is uniform by looking 
> at the surface from an angle.
> Maybe I brush to fast and "pull" the gelatin too much that it does not 
> get into the paper?
> Since I have already wasted and entire set of Fabriano Artistico that 
> I presume I sized incorrectly, I want to make sure this time I do it 
> correctly.
> Maybe is something totally unrelated to sizing. Maybe I should harden 
> the gelatin before making a comparison.
> I  tried to scan the paper samples (mine and those used as a 
> comparison) it's useless. You can only see the paper ridges and 
> valleys, but nothing else.
> I have posted however two images on a previous test I did. The only 
> thing different between the two tests is the paper. Everything else is 
> the same, done on the same day, developed for the same time, etc.
> - http://www.lucianoteghillo.com/images/test01.jpg - This paper was 
> sized by someone else.
> - http://www.lucianoteghillo.com/images/test02.jpg - This is the paper 
> I sized on a previous batch.
> Feeling frustrated....
> Thanks for any help,
> Luciano
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