Sunday, October 15, 2006

Brush Coating

I have some assorted alternative process updates. Since as the year goes on the sun is becoming harder to use in any kind of a consistent fashion I'm using the UV unit more and more, and decided to make a few changes. Basically I'm using some foam board to close off the "fourth wall" (more UV light on the paper, less in my eyeballs) but that gave me some heat concerns, so I punched a hole in one wall and wired up a 155V AC fan which sucks out tons of air and keeps it very cool. Cyanotype exposure times dropped from 9 to 7 minutes - I think partially because the bulbs have higher output if they're cooler.

I'm learning to brush coat instead of rod coat. Basically it just has to do with how you get the chemicals on the paper - rod coating you use a road, and brush coating... wait for it... you use a brush. Rod coating probably gives the most consistent results but only if you have smooth paper. I eventually want to be able to print on highly textured papers - or even papyrus - and the brush handles that better. It also means you can coat non-rectangular areas and some people like the brushed look if you don't mask off the edges. Here is an example - there's a few problems with the image, it's not ready for prime time (or for sale) but you get the idea.

Anyway, hopefully you'll see some brush coated images coming out shortly for sale, and some of those on interesting papers. I do have some papyrus on order so I'll probably try that soon although it's kind of expensive.

Speaking of expensive paper, I also got in 25 sheets of a really top of the line paper. It looks identical to the already expensive 100% cotton rag platinotype paper I'm using now but I've had some reject images due to paper issues and it should be a bit more consistent especially with platinum images. (Any kind of metal contamination in the paper will cause "black plague" with platinum - it's icky, trust me.)

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