PLAIN PAPER, PRINTING ON.—Plain paper may be printed on and made to yield very artistic results. For this purpose we require a good class of paper, such as Saxe or Rives. This s sized with gelatine or albumen. A very good formula is the following : Albumen i ounce Water - 16 ounces.
This is placed in a strong bottle with some pieces of broken glass, and well shaken up until all the flocculent matter is cut up. It is then strained through muslin, and ten grains of ammonium thloride added to each ounce of the solution. This solution is then filtered again and placed in a ;hallow dish somewhat larger than the paper to be prepared. A strip of blotting paper or board, i little longer than the width of the dish, is then drawn edgeways along the solution, just touch ng it so as to skim off air-bells, dust, and foreign particles floating on the surface. A sheet of :he paper is next immersed in the solution for about a minute, when it is withdrawn quickly and 'lung up to dry. When it is perfectly dry it is floated on the solution for about two minutes. With most papers there is a right and wrong side, so that this must be detected before laying on 'he solution. Paper prepared in this manner can be kept any length of time.
The sensitizing bath is made up of Water to ounces-fluid Silver nitrate Soo grains Sat. sol. sodium carbonate to to 15 drops The sodium carbonate solution is added until a slight precipitate is formed. Give the bottle and its contents a good shaking, and after allowing it to settle it will be ready to use. If it is clear it can be decanted into the dish ready to receive it.
Those accustomed to silvering albumen paper will not find any difficulty in the next operation, that of sensitizing. The paper is gently laid on the surface of the solution in such a manner as to prevent the formation of air-bubbles, and also to prevent the solution from coming on to the back of the paper. Gently raise each corner of the paper separately, and examine for air-bells; these can be removed with a glass rod or the clean tip of the little finger dipped in the solution, and the paper returned to its position. After about three minutes it is removed and hung up to dry. The silver bath must be kept at a correct strength, and will require to be renewed from time to time with nitrate of silver, it must also be kept neutral, which it will do so long as there remains an excess of silver carbonate.
Printing is done in the ordinary way under a negative in the printing frame. To get very deep effects the paper can be fumed for about fifteen minutes with ammonia. Print rather deeper than required for the finished print to allow for the reduction in density that takes place in the subsequent toning and fixing operations.
The toning process is accomplished with any toning bath. The most suitable, however, are those which give black engraving-like tones. • The following bath gives very good sepia tones : Make up the following stock solution Gold trichloride. 15 grains Water 8 ounces For use take about an ounce of this and add sufficient of a saturated solution of sodium bicarbon ate to completely neutralize. Add to this 5o ounces of clear water and about a quarter of an ounce of common salt, shake up well, and the toning bath is ready. Tone the prints to a deep purple, and fix in a i in 8 solution of sodium hyposulphite for about fifteen minutes. Well wash and dry between blotting boards. Prints of this description should be mounted on large mounts to give plenty margin round the picture.
Very pretty effects may be obtained by printing under a mask, so as to give a broad white margin, which may, if desired, be afterward tinted by laying a disc over the print and exposing the margin to the light until the required tint is obtained. With some subjects very good effects are made by allowing the margin to get quite black. With most papers small black spots are often visible after sensitizing, due to fine pieces of metal imbedded in the paper pulp. These can usually be removed with a sharp-pointed penknife.
Another simple method of obtaining plain silver prints somewhat resembling platinotypes is by sensitizing an ordinary sheet of albumen paper face upwards on the silver bath and using the back of the paper for printing on.
Burton recommends the following formula for prints on drawing paper. The results are said to be remarkably fine and of black tone.