Papers for Cyanotype - experiences?

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I have been using some inexpensive (relatively speaking) Crane Kid Finish paper from Bostick & Sullivan for my first cyanotype prints. I'm fairly satisfied but was wondering if others here have tried various papers and could mention some of the potential benefits/drawbacks of each, not only as to the printing but the subsequent toning.

Cheers, Richard

-- Richard Rankin (rpr@superlink.net), March 31, 2002

Answers

Curiously enough, I made my first test cyanotypes this weekend. I used Crane's platinotype paper, and also made a print on a sheet of paper called "commercial etching" paper (a gift from a person I know that does photogravures). Both seemed to give nice results. I tried some post treatment with hydrogen peroxide, but that didn't seem to change the color too much. Would be interested in hearing how you are doing.

-- Joe Lipka (joelipka@earthlink.net), March 31, 2002.

Cranes paper works ok, according to others. I have used Whatman Watercolour HP and it works really great. I don't know whether they still make that paper. It needs to have a weight of around 200 gsm, otherwise it gets harder to keep the wet print from tearing apart.

If you want some great quality (and don't paying for it as it really is made by hand) I think the hand-made Buxton papers are the best. They be obtained in reams or in retail quantities (10 imperial-sized sheets for 50) from Silverprint. (www.silverprint.co.uk)

Atlantis Silver-Safe is also recommended. Cyanotype is finicky when it comes to paper quality and the chemicals most paper producers put in their papers (such as sizing and so on). I don't know how many types of paper I've gone through trying to find something that I don't need to import from England.

I have no experience with toning of the prints.

If you got any further questions, keep'em coming!

Jimi

-- Jimi Axelsson (jimi@earthling.net), April 03, 2002.


Just to add some others to my own original posting - I've purchased some Arches watercolour paper (300 gsm) and will be trying that today. I've also tried some cheap packs from Kmart and have been able to print down to 110 gsm without too much trouble. The faux parchment paper (120 gsm) looks horrible when wet but interesting when dry. The 'translucent' (110 gsm) is also interesting but curls horrible when first wet - either with solution or developer bath. I even tried some Reflex computer paper. It curled when wet (horribly) but I ended up with a not-so-bad very high contrast print.

At the arts & crafts store there was also a sale on leftover linen paper 500 gsm - 500 sheets for $9.95 AU (about $6 US)! I'm trying that but surely life can't be that good...

I also bought some 2mm thick coloured foam pieces and will try and print on those. I'll post a followup if any one is interested or just email me. I do Victorian style photos using 1800's lenses and the results I'm getting with both cyanotype and Centennial POP and exceeding my hopes and expectations for an authentic 'look'.

As an aside -why isn't there an 'alternative process' category? Maybe we should ask for one as it is difficult to find info here without a search engine.

Cheers, Richard

-- Richard Rankin (rpr@superlink.net), April 06, 2002.

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