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Old 1st February 2021, 06:51 PM
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PanFrank PanFrank is offline
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For me as well, especially the coffee version.
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Old 2nd February 2021, 12:46 PM
Terry S Terry S is offline
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I don't know if anyone else spotted it, but I believe they were showing the cyanotype process as one of the idents for ITV, directly before the second half of Coronation Street last night at 8.30PM?

Terry S
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Old 6th February 2021, 02:16 PM
Paul Walding Paul Walding is offline
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Location: West Cumbria
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Seeing Ian's excellent set of images reminded me of my efforts over some time to produce a toned cyanotype that appealed to me. What I wanted was to change the tone of the Prussian Blue but not stain the paper and so retain the crisp appearance of a good plain cyanotype. I never really succeeded.
Bleaching, however carefully, at any stage of the toning always seemed to degrade the eventual image. It is certainly recommended by a number of authorities on the subject but I never found it useful.
Black tea and coffee of various sorts tended to stain the paper too heavily for my liking.
Green tea (Morrisons own brand) produced a half decent effect with a blue/black tone and minimal staining of the paper while an infusion of camellia (Camellia japonica) shoots could sometimes produce even better results but was rather variable. This is not really surprising as the tea pant (Camellia sinensis) belongs to the same family but you need plenty of young shoots from the plant and Mrs W was less than impressed by my explanation that our camellia plant would benefit from extensive pruning.
I did produce a few prints that I quite liked but none that were exactly what I wanted. Tannins of some sort seem to be the only way to tone cyanotypes unless anyone has a suggestion.

Yes, Terry, I saw that ITV ident with what looked like a cyanotype.

Happy toning, Paul
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Old 6th February 2021, 04:49 PM
Mike O'Pray Mike O'Pray is offline
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Nor really directly relevant to this form of toning post cyanotype but what it shows for me that is worth remembering for "staining" is that in Tim Rudman's Toning Book I felt that tea was much the stronger and better "stainer" than coffee. Given the colour of coffee v tea I had not expected this and wondered if in real prints the difference was much less but clearly not

That is not to say that coffee post cyanotype doesn't have its own attractive look.

I remain undecided in terms of the "no bleach" tones. I can think of pics that might well suit the coffee tones better than tea

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Old 6th February 2021, 05:39 PM
Terry S Terry S is offline
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Location: Southend on Sea, Essex, England UK
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Looking again at all of Ian's pictures, has made me want to try out some 'toning' as well - when I've got the time of course.

But re-reading and thinking about it, I do wonder if it is at all possible to maybe tone and then with a VERY weak bleach, bring back some of the papers original colour? Or, maybe even, bleach, tone and bleach again? There must be unlimited variables of time and concentration of all the liquids of course, and copious notes would need to be taken, just in case one effect is liked and wants to be replicated - if it is of course?

Terry S
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Old 7th February 2021, 10:49 AM
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CambsIan CambsIan is offline
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Hi All, thanks for the replies and the comments.

I feel that my bleaching solution was way to strong (0.5 teaspoon to 1 litre of water) as the reaction was very quick, too quick to easily control the level of bleaching with any thinking time. So would suggest a weaker mix.

Other than the original, my preference so far is to go straight from the rinse into the coffee bath. In future I will keep a close watch on the colour change and take out as soon as I see the colour change, this I'm sure will reduce any staining of the paper, which is fairly minor in my original experiment.

When I get some, my next experiments will be on actually trying to change the colour of the paper using food colouring, to see if the paper will absorb that and how it will alter the cyanotype blue. Although my reservation is that this will be detrimental to the longevity of the print.

Have also pondered the chances of using water colour paint washes within areas of a print, still plenty of time, looks like we're not going anywhere soon

Learn to live, live to learn

Last edited by CambsIan; 7th February 2021 at 10:54 AM.
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Old Yesterday, 04:10 PM
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Roy_H Roy_H is offline
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Location: Suffolk
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Great experiments and very pleasing effect Ian.

Try using a 1% or 2% sodium bicarbonate solution as a bleach. May take a bit longer but could be less aggressive.

I plan on trying some toning with tannic acid (basically your tea & coffee!) and also lead acetate (violet). Need to make the lead acetate though...
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