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The First Month after the Workshop


Front view of blade coating platform:  Nylon cutting board with level attached with bolts (removable), feet to raise it high enough for an emulsion overflow catch tray to fit underneath.  The warm granite is placed next to the level right before coating.


Bottom:  Tray feet attached with screws around the rims and then heavily sealed with silicone adhesive


From left: magnetic stirring hot plate and tempering unit set on removable countertop set over sink, emulsion coating platform, rack for holding granite and coated sheets until emulsion sets, and under that, stacked screens for drying paper.



Chemical weighing station.



Granite tiles and buffet warming unit to keep stones at coating temperature.


July 21 and 22, 2006 / Lot 1a  

Made 1x scale emulsion recipe and did one set (i.e. 1/4 total) of coatings:  Straight from the class notes, with 1 drop surfactant and 6 drops hardener per 50 ml melt.  A 4 x 5 coating blade calibrated to 6 mil.  I coated baryta paper (1),  Rives BFK-white (2), Fabriano Artisto-x white (2), Arches Platine (1), and Crane's Cover 90 (2).  Total 7 sheets, coated 5 x 8 inches.   I started with my standard developer, ZonalPro HQ (chosen because to doesn't contain Metol (I have become sensitive), very dilute acetic acid stop bath, and plain hypo fixer.

Results: The Crane's fell apart.  It's out of the running.  The Rives and Platine are too rough for my taste (? try them later with a gelatin first coat ?)


Surfactant problem, do you think?

Baryta paper.  The worst cratering, but all the papers were affected.



    Magnified crop:  'peppering' as well as craters

    The good news: the image between the craters and pepper grains is really quite pretty.


July  24 and 25, 2006 / Lot 1b


Papers:  Arches HP, Fabriano Artistico, baryta, and gelatin-sized Somerset Satin (my favorite surface for albumen printing)



 Fabriano Artistico:  I felt the coating blade grab as I started.  The paper fibers give the print the appearance of graininess (like a too-big enlargement from 35mm TriX, but with the detail of a larger format negative)  ?artsy avenue?



Baryta:  I hadn't realized I was down to the dregs and bubbles of the emulsion.  I decided to go ahead anyway.  Where it coated well, it compares favorably with commercial paper.  Needless to say, the devil lives in "Coated Well".



Closeup detail of the above print.


July  30 - August 1, 2006 / Lots 1C and 1D


Lot 1C: Granite too hot (amazing how fast baryta paper can curl!)  Packed it in for some medicinal chocolate.

Lot 1D: 

Changes: PhotoFlo 600: 6 drops.  Change developer to ZonalPro FactorOne (recommended dilution).

Papers:  Baryta and Fabriano

Results:  Surfactant problems resolved on Fabriano paper.  No craters.  Almost perfect on baryta. 

It's paper fork-in-the-road time.  The Fabriano and baryta handle differently and will need separate negatives with different characteristics.  The Fabriano paper looks like it has a much steeper curve with little shoulder or toe.  (Obviously, that's a first read.)  It is much more forgiving of emulsion defects, and the overall look is very appealing, so I will come back to it after pursuing baryta for awhile.

Baryta:  It looks like the pepper grains are changing over time (?softening?)  They didn't show on the Fabriano paper and on the baryta they look like a smear rather than flecks.

Additionally, before I continue I will have to figure out how to keep the granite at a consistent temperature.  I tried a heating pad, but its safety controls override the necessities of this job.








500% detail of above print, showing smeared silver grains



Baryta: Step tablet and resolution target at 200%



500% detail of above print


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Denise W Ross Photography