A question about salted gelatin printing

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I have a quick question about salted gelatin printing. After a sheet of paper gets a coat of salted gelatin, how long can I hold it until I'm ready to print. I mean coated with salted gelatin without the silver nitrate in the paper. I wonder if it's indefinite.
 

NedL

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I've always treated salted paper ( with or without gelatin or starch or citrate ) as indefinite -- and I salt paper in large batches. But it does make sense to think about it, because some chemical changes in paper can happen slowly over a long time. A few years ago I was using a kind of paper that needed acidification for making calotypes... and the iodized paper worked okay if it was used within a few weeks, but after a few months of storage it started to fog again. So there was some kind of slow reaction going on.... and that's similar to your question: we usually think iodized paper can be stored indefinitely and with most kinds of paper that seems to be true.

Interesting that you bring this up just now. A few months ago I got worried about exactly this issue, and ran a series of tests. I had some fogging showing up on some of my prints and I couldn't think of anything to explain it except that some of my salted paper had been stored longer before I sensitized and printed it. I was using starch instead of gelatin, but it was the same concern. I ran a long set of tests ( sensitizing some paper every day for a couple weeks, then again > 1 months later ) and eventually discovered that the problem was intermittent contamination of my brush ( it was maddening to try to figure it out... because I had recent fog-free prints made with the same brush... it was the new starch coating I was using that slowly contaminated it over time! )

So, I still think salted paper ( plain or with gelatin or with starch ) can probably be stored indefinitely.
 
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I've always treated salted paper ( with or without gelatin or starch or citrate ) as indefinite -- and I salt paper in large batches. But it does make sense to think about it, because some chemical changes in paper can happen slowly over a long time. A few years ago I was using a kind of paper that needed acidification for making calotypes... and the iodized paper worked okay if it was used within a few weeks, but after a few months of storage it started to fog again. So there was some kind of slow reaction going on.... and that's similar to your question: we usually think iodized paper can be stored indefinitely and with most kinds of paper that seems to be true.

Interesting that you bring this up just now. A few months ago I got worried about exactly this issue, and ran a series of tests. I had some fogging showing up on some of my prints and I couldn't think of anything to explain it except that some of my salted paper had been stored longer before I sensitized and printed it. I was using starch instead of gelatin, but it was the same concern. I ran a long set of tests ( sensitizing some paper every day for a couple weeks, then again > 1 months later ) and eventually discovered that the problem was intermittent contamination of my brush ( it was maddening to try to figure it out... because I had recent fog-free prints made with the same brush... it was the new starch coating I was using that slowly contaminated it over time! )

So, I still think salted paper ( plain or with gelatin or with starch ) can probably be stored indefinitely.

Thanks for your quick reply! My plan is to run some test with my salted gelatin. If it looks good, I'm going to assume that it's safe to store the salted paper. I plan to coat the paper right before exposure of the print. I've done salt printing and the look is a bit too muddy for my taste. I hope coating with the with salted gelatin will make the prints more snappy.
 

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I like a "softer" or more delicate look, and used gelatin only in small amounts ( like between 0.4 to 0.8% ), mostly to get the color I wanted. But I did some tests early on with more gelatin, up to 2 or 3%. One thing I noticed with the thicker gelatin was that if you overprint a little and then use gold thiocyanate toner, it can really boost the contrast and make a "snappy" print. The color is almost "beyond" neutral to a cold slightly blue-black ( I remember thinking to myself, "if I want prints this color, I can print them under my enlarger on photopaper!" ) but they definitely had some "pop" to them. If you've got some toner, it might be worth a try to see if you like it. This is the toner kit I tried:

https://www.bostick-sullivan.com/cart/502.html?category_id=423
 
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Thanks for your insight. I'll have to try different amounts of gelatin. Funny thing, I already have the B&S gold toner which I use for kalitypes.
 
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