Cheap Student Paper For Cyanotypes

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Andrew O'Neill

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I'll be teaching cyanotypes to my photo 11 students later in the semester. The cheapest paper that I use personally use for Kallitypes and cyanotypes is Stonehenge... but it has to be acidified first for decent results...and I really don't want to be acidifying tons of paper. Is there a pad of paper out there that doesn't require acidifying? Thank you!
 

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hi andrew

ive been using borden and riley #10 sketch pad paper for years never any issues
sometimes it is called "vellum" ... another paper you might think about is by alex brand art paper
i discovered them when i was attempting to search for "virgin butcher paper" to replace the stash i have
for when i run out. often times butcher paper has a wax finish/ coating on one or both sides
if it is "virgin butcher paper" it isn't coated and tends to be inexpensive.
.. seems they have unwaxed uncoated butcher paper here too
https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_4_13?url=search-alias=aps&field-keywords=butcher+paper+for+crafts&sprefix=butcher+paper,aps,148&crid=3VX8DYUQGIHTC
listed as craft paper... still have to cut it down though ... while i looked into this paper, i never bought it so i can't say with certainty
it won't need special treatment .. you might ask for a sample to be sent if you go for the roll ... :smile:

have fun!
john
 

jim10219

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Strathmore 400 series Mixed Media paper. It comes in precut pads and doesn't have to be pretreated (no acid bath or size required) to give good results. It's also easy to find and pretty cheap. It can be subjected to multiple washes and won't fall apart (so toning is easy). I've used it for 4 color gum as well (needs to be sized for that). It's a wood fiber paper, so it won't be as archival as a cotton fiber based paper, but it's good for learning on and will probably last a few decades without deteriorating noticeably. It also has an extremely smooth texture, if you're into that kind of thing. It's not the best paper I've ever used, but it gives a lot better results than a lot of the more expensive water color papers I've tried, and with far less effort. It's what I learned on, and if I were teaching someone else alternative process photography, it's what I'd start them out on.
 

nmp

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I'll be teaching cyanotypes to my photo 11 students later in the semester. The cheapest paper that I use personally use for Kallitypes and cyanotypes is Stonehenge... but it has to be acidified first for decent results...and I really don't want to be acidifying tons of paper. Is there a pad of paper out there that doesn't require acidifying? Thank you!

You can get some more ideas here:

http://www.alternativephotography.c...sic-cyanotype-process-1613-research-for-free/
 

paulbarden

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I'll be teaching cyanotypes to my photo 11 students later in the semester. The cheapest paper that I use personally use for Kallitypes and cyanotypes is Stonehenge... but it has to be acidified first for decent results...and I really don't want to be acidifying tons of paper. Is there a pad of paper out there that doesn't require acidifying? Thank you!

Andrew, I was told that Canson's Pro Layout Marker pad paper was excellent for use in making Albumen prints, and so I acquired a pad to test last summer. I decided to give it a try for Cyanotype also, and lo and behold, it made excellent images with that process also. Its a very light weight hot press style paper (18 lb) and requires gentle handling to get through the wash process, but it makes truly excellent Cyanotypes. It also happens to be very inexpensive.
I've used many different expensive watercolor papers for the process and was never truly satisfied with any of them (inconsistencies batch to batch, buffering materials interfering with the chemistry, excessive absorption of the sensitizer, etc.), and so it was a pleasant surprise to find this Canson Marker paper worked so well. For teaching purposes, this might be very suitable.
 

NedL

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Those of us who make calotypes have noticed batch differences with Canson Pro Layout Marker. I have no idea if it would matter for cyanotypes, but trial a sheet first to make sure. I actually think its wet strength and dimensional stability is reasonably good compared with other thin papers, but Paul is right it needs gentler handling than thick watercolor paper. This might give me a use for the two pads I've got in my closet ... I've still never made a cyanotype :smile: Sounds like a blast making them with kids, have fun!
 

jim10219

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Of course if you want the sharpest cyanotype prints with excellent mid tones, the best option is matte inkjet paper. The special microporous coating on inkjet paper that keeps the ink from spreading works wonders on cyanotype. I like the Staples brand Premium Presentation Matte paper. The down side is they’re usually thin and don’t hold up well in the wash. You can get one print out of them if you’re careful with the development (they’re not super fragile, but depending on the age of the kids, it could be an issue). But things like toning and combining with other processes are probably out of the question.
 

MattKing

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I just wish I had had the opportunity of taking a high school photography class that included things like Cyanotypes.
Of course, if Andrew had been teaching it, I think he would have been in elementary school at the time! :D
 
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Andrew O'Neill

Andrew O'Neill

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I tried some Kraft butcher paper. Although it is quite fragile, it produced a lovely print right off the roll. I was worried when it was in the clearing bath as it looked like quite blotchy. Then I dipped it in some hydrogen peroxide, which made it pop and got rid of the blotchy appearance. Out of the few options that I have, I will go with the butcher's paper. It's the most economical.
 
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