A couple of years ago I commissioned a paper to be made by hand, by one of
the remaining half dozen or so hand-papermakers still working in the UK:
Chris Bingham of Ruscombe Mill, Gloucestershire. The specification was
designed to provide a paper that is compatible with the chemistry of all
the iron-based processes: cyanotype, argyrotype, van Dyke, kallitype,
chrysotype, palladiotype and pure platinotype - and tests show that the
paper fulfills this expectation.
It's called 'Buxton' paper: the weight is 160 gsm - thin enough to be bound
in book form (which is also my intention, Tomi) but strong enough to
withstand wet processing. The furnish is 100% long fibre cotton, made on a
wove mould to Imperial Sheet size (30"x22") and cold pressed, so the
surface has a distinctive 'tooth', but it is not too rough. It does not
change on wet processing (unlike some highly calendered HP papers which
lose their smoothness). The colour is natural white and the paper contains
no additives whatsoever, apart from the sizing agent (alkyl ketene dimer,
NOT gelatin). It is hard sized to be a bit water repellant initially, to
give you chance to distribute the sensitizer over the surface before it
soaks into the fibres. I'm told it also works very well in ink-jet
I've written a couple of articles this year about Buxton paper and the
thinking behind the specification - in Alternative Photography Review No 1,
and Ag+ Photographic No 7. It is obtainable in small quantities by mail
order from Silverprint (address in the FAQ) and is *very* expensive!
P.S. I don't get any commission!
Good wishes to all,