Kallitype Curiosity (Glass Plates)



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Apr 21, 2017
Medium Format
Good afternoon.

I wanted to share a Kallitype process that I started to use to help improve my original Kallitype, dry-plate, experiment. In the original experiment I used a gelatin subbed plate which I brushed or pooled on a mixed Kallitype sensitizer; Ferric Oxalate and Silver Nitrate. After exposure I treated it like any other Kallitype with the addition of a gold leafed backing to create an orotone. The example of the print should be available in the attachments.

Recently I came into some extra cash and bought some raw chemicals from Bostick and Sullivan to continue experimentation. The only problem is I bought the wrong oxalate! I ended up purchasing Ferric Ammonium Oxalate, which resulted in a print on paper. (Ferric Ammonium Oxalate will be referred to as AFO from here on) I used the developer for the kallitype to varied success but found that the mixture of silver and AFO worked better as a printing out process. It proved to be finicky and it spurred me to look at other processes that used AFO.

I found Chrysotypes and that some folks who work in that process use a 40% solution of AFO. I decided to try that and gained greater DMAX of the print. An example is provided below. Satisfied that I now had a fairly consistent method on paper I started to shift my focus back to prints on glass. I did not have gelatin on hand so I decided to borrow from the albumen print and make albumen using AFO instead of the traditional chlorides. A day later, filtered off the scuzz and floated a piece of paper onto the albumen and exposed it to light.

From what I understand AFO decomposes to a ferrous oxalate that reacts with silver nitrate when an aqueous developer contacts the dry chemical.

With that knowledge I decided to drop some silver nitrate solution onto the paper and watched the slightly yellow-brown surface go deep black. Just to make sure that it wasn't an odd reaction or that the AFO in the albumen had turned completely ferrous, I dropped some silver on an unexposed sheet. There was no reaction to be seen. With all of this in mind I coated glass I pulled from a dollar store picture frame and coated it with the emulsion and followed the steps as above.

I developed the exposed plate in a bath of 10% Silver Nitrate and got the results that are posted below. I found that double coating albumen helped adhesion. My problem at this point is the initial flowing of the albumen to create an even coat. If there is anyone who has any thoughts, suggestions, or ideas please feel free to add them. I have a day off and will be coating a few more plates of glass through out the day.

Thanks for your time and I hope this tibit of information is of use to someone other than myself.



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  • Orotone.jpg
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  • Sgl Coat.jpg
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