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Colotype



As I mentioned in a previous post, the book The Keepers of Light by William
Crawford contains historical data and sufficiently detailed instructions for
the following early photographic processes:

Salted Paper, Ambrotype, Cyanotype, Platinum and Palladium, Kallitype,
Carbon, Carbro, Three-Color Carbro, Gum Printing, Oil and Bromoil,
Three-Color Printing, Photogravure and Collotypes.


Published by Morgan & Morgan, Inc.; ISBN: 0871001586.

The current price seems to be $38, which is quite a hike from my $24.95
copy.

A photomechanical process used mostly for reproductions, collotypes were
rarely used by photographers for creative photography until the 1970s. This
was when Todd Walker of the University of Florida received a grant from the
NEA to research Collotypes. His methods opens up the creative possibilities
of the medium.

Materials:

        You need a light-tight drying oven to dry the Collotype plates at 52C
(125F).
        Gelatin
        Distilled Water
        Potassium alum
        Sodium silicate
        Glass Plates
        175-Bloom gelatin
        Ammonium dicromate
        Glycerin
        Lithographic Ink
        A Press or a lithographic roller
        Benzene
        Magnesium carbonate powder or Oleic acid to either stiffen the ink or make
it more fluid, as needs be.

I bought the book for the Carbro processes listed. Since straight collotypes
are basically mimicking photographic prints, I didn't bother. The more
creative collotype techniques didn't interest me since I seem to be fairly
purist as a photographer (just about the only thing I seem to be a purist
about). Carbro prints are unique and stunning in their texture, so they are
an alternative to a straight silver print.

David Scott Goen
St. Louis

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