From: Judy Seigel (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: 11/22/02-03:47:12 PM Z
On Fri, 22 Nov 2002 FDanB@aol.com wrote:
> For years I sprayed my pt/pd prints with McDonalds Luster. I learned this
> from Tom Millea back in 1984, who used it to enhance the depth of blacks.
> A chemist at UT Austin examined the contents and said there was nothing
> that could damage the paper. And, it's easily removed with Acetone
> anyway, which is photographically inert.
> When McDonalds dropped the Luster in spray cans I tried their semi-gloss
> but it took on a nasty yellow patina very quickly. I'm testing some
> acrylics now but don't have a final word on them. Anyone on the list have
> wisdom on acrylics and paper?
An article in the NY Times alternative home-making section a few days ago
(maybe Wednesday), addressed the issue of making leaves and flowers shiny
and archival for table decoration. The writer (I forget who, but not
Martha Stuart) said she uses a floor polishing acrylic called "Future."
She also uses spray starch on leaves to keep them smooth.
I've tried innumerable coatings myself, inspired by a couple of comments
from R. Demachy, these 100 years ago. He describes applying "Vernis
Soehnee" to gum prints, and watching the darks deepen and resume their wet
look, while the whites DID NOT GET GLAZED LOOK, which is the problem (or
one of the problems) with all the shellacs, gelatins, gums, varnishes,
acrylics, glazes, and everything else I've tried.
But getting back that "wet look" is exactly the holy grail... 9 times out
of 10 the print (in any medium, including SG) looks better wet. We've
fantasized about a show of everything under water. The difference between
wet with water and dry-with-some-kind-of-glaze has so far been night &
Gene Robkin (hope it's OK to mention yr name, Gene) has been extremely
ingenious in researching that old vernis soehnee, even finding a little
bottle on eBay marked Soehnee a Paris, which I have here by the computer,
inspiring and/or taunting me. (They evidently made perfumes, or similar
potions, as well.)
It's probably some kind of, or derivative of, shellac (solvent is
alcohol). I even found mention of it in old process books -- for "art"
processes. But the only clue to ingredients was "resin," which covers a
wide swathe. I tried various forms and dilutions and hybrids of shellac,
but they looked ugly as sin on the print.
For one thing, shellac is nasty over gelatin, and most of my gum prints
are on gelatin-sized paper. But even over the heavily pigmented part,
shellac of all stripes had an ugly, speckly, diffused look. I gave up on
that & moved on to other media, finally to a galkyd, which every so often
is quite nice, but usually a mess -- and not as good as the "wet" look.
And I'm not sure better than simply a diluted coat of gum arabic poured
over (which is probably not a good idea archival-wise). I found the
Renaissance wax gave minimum effect for maximum rubbing. But i'm going to
try the Gamblin -- thanks for suggestion. (Gamblin makes good oil paints &
sends an excellent paint newsletter, which is reassuring.)
I also have come to suspect that Demachy's varnish not shining up the
paper whites was because his paper had no added size. With a gelatin size,
I think a glaze of any sort is likely to glaze the whites. However a wax
might be easily wiped out of whites with solvent.
Meanwhile, if anyone knows what varnishes Robert ParkeHarrison uses,
they'd probably be worth a try, even though his are on silver gelatin...
Supposedly he manipulates with "paints and varnishes", but nothing more is
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