Temporary markings on prints

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by NedL, Sep 13, 2017.

  1. NedL

    NedL Subscriber

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    Dan Pavel just mentioned in a VDB thread that he marks the area to be coated by making a rectangle with pencil, and erasing it with a rubber eraser after exposing but before processing.

    I make light pencil marks in the corners of the area I want to coat, and they also help register the negative. I've also noticed that they are harder to remove without damaging the paper surface after any kind of wet processing. But even light pencil marks can be difficult to remove without scuffing the paper surface. What do you do? Does someone have a clever approach that can serve this purpose without leaving any trace on the paper?

    By the way, a related problem is masking off the paper for coating. I used to use light tack blue painters tape, after pressing it down on a clean wood surface 4 or 5 or 6 times. But even that can damage the paper surface occasionally when it is removed. These days I usually put strips of paper down, taped to a sheet of cardboard beyond the paper edges, not to the paper itself. You can still get nice clean edges that way, and it prevents little splatters in the margins. I'd be curious to know about other ways to mask off areas for coating.
     
  2. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    I use a rectangular cardboard cut out placed on the paper before sensitisation. And I don't use a glass rod or a brush, but a small sponge. This allows you to remove sensitiser as well as apply it. If you wear plastic gloves you can just squeeze excess sensitiser back into the original container.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
  3. Dan Pavel

    Dan Pavel Member

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    I've noticed that points made with a pencil are harder to remove than faint lines, too. I use a HB or B 0.5 mm pencil to draw and a Staedtler eraser.The exact way I do it is as follows.
    Close to the extremities of the paper I mark (points) the limits of the print and I draw the lines connecting this points to obtain the print rectangle. Then I erase the lines and the points outside the print rectangle, including the corners of the rectangle (crossed lines centers are harder to erase and is better to do it in full light) and what remain are 4 faint unconnected lines delimiting the print. Usually only the initial point-marks may, sometimes, remain visible but they are at the limits of the paper, far outside the print area. Usually they don't disturb but if they do I cut the paper 1-2 mm smaller and eliminate them. I erase the rest of the lines after exposure but before processing the paper.
    Before doing this way I tried to use a cardboard with the same dimension as the paper and with a rectangle cut in the middle as a mask for coating inside. It didn't worked comfortable for me.

    I mostly use digital negatives and I print a mask with the UV blocking color 2 cm wide outside the image when I print the negative. This way there are no differences in pressure while exposing in the contact frame.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
  4. Herzeleid

    Herzeleid Member

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    I use a steel ruler and I draw the outline of entire print area with an HB pen. Sometimes I use a matt board cut to specific size and draw the entire outline. Than I erase all lines in four sweeping motion with faber art eraser (knetgummi). It grabs all the graphite, no dust or eraser bits remain. The paper is left with a very faint impression of the outline, it is visible enough to make a good coating. When I print the image with a few mm thickness in the borders, I cannot see the any marks.
     
  5. Ian Leake

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    I use a combination of tape and a negative registration system. Tapes can be quite tricky, so it's worth experimenting with several. Currently use low tack medical tape.
     
  6. nmp

    nmp Member

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    I saw someone mentioning somewhere that Post-it tape:

    https://www.amazon.com/Post-Labelin...&qid=1505476141&sr=8-1&keywords=post-it+tapes

    (which supposedly has the same adhesive that is in Post-it Notes) is very good for this purpose, leaving no residue on alt papers. I guess you can check it by using the Notes itself, if you have some, by sticking them all around the paper. Worth a try.
     
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    NedL

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    I'm still having trouble. I may need to find the right kind of eraser... will try to find the Staedtler eraser or faber art eraser mentioned above. I got a kneadable eraser that I thought might be good but it did not work well to remove the light pencil lines. I tried to make one with only lines near the edges of the paper, and my negative registration was tilted. I would have to change my methods to use post-it tape, maybe leaving it on the paper while the sensitizer is drying, but I'll try that if I keep having problems with pencil.
     
  8. DennyS

    DennyS Member

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    Ned, if you're still having problems, try this. Use a pencil that isn't too sharp (0.7mm mechanical, for example) and mark the lines lightly using short dashes with lots of space between them, no need for full lines. I find that even after processing, they erase easily with a Staedtler eraser, at least on Pt/Pd prints.
     
  9. Ian Leake

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    I don’t think you’ll be able to completely remove pencil marks. On Thursday I saw a lot of Irving Penn platinum prints in Paris. He clearly used a pencil dot for negative registration, and those dots stayed on the print.

    Perhaps using a different paper may help. However, realistically, if pencil marks bother you, then you will need to experiment with ways to mark the coating area without using a pencil. Some people use a mat board frame (as mentioned above) others use some sort of masking tape. Neither of these should leave a mark.
     
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    NedL

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    Thanks! That's two mentions now of a Staedtler eraser, so I'll get one, and see how light and little I can get away with and still see what I'm doing.
    I don't know why it's bothering me now more than it used to, but I'd like them to at least be less noticeable. ( and I realize it's probably one of those things.. I'm noticing them more because now they've caught my eye... )
     
  11. Patrick Robert James

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    I've used water soluble pencils for drawing in the past. I'd have to search around here for what they are, but they are probably still available. You might want to look into that since it may just dissolve in the chemistry and you won't have to erase it.

    Edit- I took a look and I have water soluble pencils and watercolor pencils. The water soluble pencils are made by Derwent and they are called Graphitint. The watercolor pencils are also made by Derwent. I think I also have some Windsor & Newton ones around here too. Lots of companies make watercolor pencils. A little experimentation should get you something useful.

    Hope that helps you!
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2017
  12. Ian Leake

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    That’s a really good idea!
     
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    NedL

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    What a great idea, thank you!
     
  14. nmp

    nmp Member

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    Good idea - as long as you do not cross the line with your brush.
     
  15. Patrick Robert James

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    Happy to help Ned. Let us know if it works out for you.
     
  16. tnp651

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    For my kallitypes, I mark the very edge of the paper and lay down strips of Scotch Magic Tape. The edge of the tape is hard to see under safelight so I also make a pencil line just inside the edge to guide me when coating. After I coat the paper, I leave it while I wash the rod, brush and other utensils, then remove the tape. It masks completely and removes without tearing the paper.
     
  17. OP
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    NedL

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    I realized after I wrote this that I'm not being very smart.. my pencil lines are just inside the area I mask off for coating, so they do get wet. That's why I had so much trouble erasing them. I did pick up a staedtler eraser ( white plastic ), and also a faber art eraser ( soft green... it's really amzing how it picks up graphite ), and I did also get a Derwent HB water soluble pencil... haven't tried it yet but as Niranjan noted above, we'll see what happens when the sensitizer hits it. Hoping to get back to printing next week, so we'll see!
     
  18. OP
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    NedL

    NedL Subscriber

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    OK so to finish off this thread, well I ended up in kind of a silly place ( erasing the water soluble pencil! ) but it works so I'm happy.
    I marked the image area corners with the derwent "light wash" pencil, masked off my coating area, then erased the pencil marks with the staedtler white eraser ( works great, and does not damage the paper surface ). After coating and drying, it was just barely possible to see where the marks had been so that I could position the negative. You can just barely see marks if you hold the print up to the light and look very closely, but nearly invisible. Thanks again to everyone for the good ideas.
     
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