[Alt-photo] cyanotype paper

Keith Schreiber keith at jkschreiber.com
Wed Feb 21 18:15:46 UTC 2018

Hi John, 

Crane's Paper Co no longer exists, at least not in the form it used to. A year ago or so I did stumble across something interesting, though. Crane's has been absorbed by Neenah Paper <http://www.neenahpaper.com/finepaper/cranepapers>. There is a bewildering array of papers though, much more than I ever remember seeing from Crane's when it was independent, so they might just be using the name. The nearest thing I found that may be similar to what you are looking for is under the heading Crane's Crest <http://www.neenahpaper.com/FinePaper/CRANEPapers/CRANESCRESTPapers>, though finding the right one will be a challenge, and there's no telling if it is the same as it used to be. 

Another interesting thing - a couple or 3 years ago I was in a paper shop somewhere and saw a box of Crane's writing paper similar to the one I learned Pt/Pd printing on back in 1991. It looks the same and feels the same, and still has the annoying random watermarks, but I bought a couple boxes to try. It didn't work well at all for Pt/Pd, but it is lovely for New Cyanotype. There is a Crane's Paper <http://www.crane.com/product/32-lb-pearl-white-kid-finish-8-1-and-2-x-11-sheets/PS8111> website that seems to be separate from Neenah (at least I see no overlap) where you can find it. The old version of this paper had the product ID AS8111. This one is PS8111.

Last fall I did a fair amount of paper testing with New Cyanotype, and the best and most consistent results I found were on Arches Platine. The light-weight version (145gsm) is particularly nice. I had some weird splotchiness on some tests done on the other standard Pt/Pd papers - Bergger COT320, Revere, and HPR - though if that can be solved all 3 of those would be good. Some others that worked well after a sulfamic acid pre-treatment include Fabriano Artistico EW, Rives BFK, and Stonehenge. 

There is a new paper from Hahnemuhle called SumiE that Christina and others have been touting recently. I haven't tried it yet, but it's on my list for the next round of testing. It doesn't seem to be widely available yet, at least in the US, but Dick Blick <https://www.dickblick.com/products/hahnemuhle-sumi-e-paper-pads/?clickTracking=true&wmcp=pla&wmcid=items&wmckw=12487-1095&gclid=Cj0KCQiAzrTUBRCnARIsAL0mqczC4uoA86y9bCBQT82W9uWxeTsvbmODs8lGpx7yAScLwEW0vXnAY9caAmsbEALw_wcB> has it. 

Hope this helps,

"Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better."
~ Samuel Beckett

> On Feb 21, 2018, at 9:18 AM, John Isner via Alt-photo-process-list <alt-photo-process-list at lists.altphotolist.org> wrote:
> I recently began making cyanotypes.  I use the Ware formula and print on
> Crane's Cover 90 lb Wove Finish, a paper that Mike Ware himself recommended
> somewhere (I can't find the reference; it may be quite old).  I like the
> Cranes very much.  The only problem is its availability.  I have lots of 9
> x 11, but trying to find it in larger sizes is proving difficult impossible.
> I need an alternative ASAP.    I'm not interested in exotic papers, just
> something with a smooth surface that works well with the New cyanotype, is
> readily available (as in next day delivery!), comes in many sizes, and
> doesn't cost an arm and a leg.  FYI I "develop" in running water and coat
> with a puddle pusher, but will switch to a brush with larger size paper.
> On the other hand, maybe someone knows of a secret source for the Cranes!
> John
> On Fri, Dec 1, 2017 at 9:27 AM, Christina Z. Anderson via
> Alt-photo-process-list <alt-photo-process-list at lists.altphotolist.org>
> wrote:
>> Dear All,
>> I have been in paper testing mode for cyanotype for about two months now,
>> and I found one winner from Freestyle Photo here:
>> https://www.freestylephoto.biz/174022-Awagami-Platinum-
>> Gampi-Uncoated-Art-Paper-for-Platinum-Printing-60gsm <
>> https://www.freestylephoto.biz/174022-Awagami-Platinum-
>> Gampi-Uncoated-Art-Paper-for-Platinum-Printing-60gsm>
>> I bet it is available in other countries because it comes from Japan.
>> It is pricey, I know. It is unbuffered which of course is great with
>> cyanotype.
>> It has a beautiful satiny sheen.
>> It coats well. The solution doesn’t sink through the paper and when
>> exposed it is very even. I tape it down and use a brush loaded with
>> chemistry; I do not pour the chems onto the paper.
>> It is one of the few papers I have tested that is fine without an acid
>> development. It has at least a 1.8 ES with plain water development (longer
>> with acid) and a navy blue color. I can’t measure the DR for you because I
>> don’t have a densitometer until next week. I finally bit the bullet and
>> bought a used one on eBay. I’ve been printing all papers with a 4x5 31-step
>> wedge so I can observe the ES.
>> With vinegar and citric it leans turquoise. With sulfamic it leans purple.
>> Caveat: I am using classic cyanotype at only a 10% ferric ammonium
>> citrate/10% potassium ferricyanide so YRMV, but UVBL exposures are 12-19
>> minutes with acid development.
>> It has great wet strength.
>> I think that sums it up. Fun to find another unbuffered paper to add to
>> our arsenal; they are so very few and far between! They also carry Awagami
>> Mitsumata but I did not like it half as well as the Gampi, but it is
>> unbuffered, too.
>> Chris
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