Three processes in one day?!

In Alternative process-y stuff on March 1, 2012 at 8:56 pm

I think I outdid myself today – I managed to attempt three different processes (and go to my classes). Two of them worked fairly well, one totally failed and one turned out lovely. The gum bichromate had been left out for two days and the sensitiser had completely gone off, given that 5ml of gum arabic to 5ml potassium bichromate would have been enough for about another four sheets of paper (the 15ml version of the yellow paint was pretty much infinite), I think I can make up some more pretty easily… The bottles aren’t that big, and given how fun it’s turning out to be I’m starting to think I’ll get through it pretty quickly.

I did another cyanotype, but it dried funny and doesn’t look marvellous. But on the plus side I taught (in the loosest possible sense) someone else how to do them. That mixture has lasted ages as well…that was 30ml of each I think, and I’ve done a lot of paper (all with at least two coats). Those bottles are huge, so that’ll last ages.

And then I did more salt prints – and they worked far better. Luckily there was some salted paper left (although I did salt a piece of handmade paper and a thinner sheet so I can try that tomorrow) and a lot of silver nitrate solution. Apparently that was meant to have gone off by now (it’s been mixed up since the middle of December), but I think age has actually improved it. Or the lighting was a whole lot better today (it’s been properly sunny for the first time), because I got a lot better tones this time round.

I think I could spend a long time just pottering about with all these chemicals – I fear I’ve taken over the darkroom with all the stuff I’ve been using! Each set of chemicals and brushes (and paint) is kept in its  own tray, luckily not many other people seem to be using the darkroom and I can work with the lights on. If I learnt how to do it properly (and how it actually works) I guess i could teach workshops or something…that wouldn’t be so bad. Or write books, I’d like that.



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