This section is from the "Studio Light Incorporating The Aristo Eagle - The Artura Bulletin 1922 " book, by Aristo Motto. Also see Amazon: Studio Light Incorporating The Aristo Eagle - The Artura Bulletin 1922 .
WHILE the ferrotyping of prints is a simple process in itself, there are a number of ways of handling ferrotyped prints and as we have a great many inquiries in regard to the process a review of the subject may be interesting.
Ferrotype plates should be carefully selected - the heavy plates being most satisfactory because they are less likely to be damaged.
The plates should be cleaned with hot water as often as it is necessary to remove any particles of gelatine or paste which may have remained on them from previous use. They should then be dried with a soft cloth that will not scratch and lubricated with a solution of benzole and paraffin. The solution is made by dissolving 10 grains of paraffin in 1 oz. of benzole. If benzole is not to be had, benzine will answer equally as well.
Wet a tuft of cotton with this solution and go over the plate thoroughly. Then polish with a very soft cloth such as canton flannel. There should be no visible trace of the lubricant remaining on the plate. If there is it will show on the print.
The prints which are to be fer-rotyped should be taken directly from the wash water without draining and placed face down on the plates. If they are not to be mounted they can be placed close together, filling the entire plate.
A uniform glossy surface depends upon the prints being in perfect contact with the plates. Air bells can, for the greater part, be eliminated by using care in laying the wet prints on the plates.
Lay a cloth or a blotter over the prints and use a print roller to roll out the surplus water and insure perfect contact. The pressure should be light and the rolling all in one direction. Too much pressure may cause the prints to stick in spots.
If great quantities of prints are to be ferrotyped the plates may be run between the rubber rollers of a power wringer. An ordinary wash wringer will answer but in case the prints buckle the rolls should be reversed so that the handle is on the upper roll.
The prints should be allowed to dry where there is a good circulation of air and if the plates have been properly lubricated the prints will raise when bone dry or may readily be stripped off.
If the prints stick it is because they were not sufficiently hardened in the fixing bath, were washed in water that was too warm, were dried by heat or the plates were not sufficiently lubricated.
Drying by heat is very likely to cause prints to stick because the heat melts the gelatine. It is possible to use heat, however, provided the heated air is properly conditioned by the addition of moisture.
Portrait Film Negative, Artura Print By M.A. Grady Seattle, Wash.
It is not advisable to dry fer-rotyped prints too rapidly as they will not dry evenly and a portion of the print may leave the plate before the rest of the print is dry. Such a print will not lie flat and may have to be ferrotyped a second time.
There is also such a thing as having prints hardened so that they will not take the high gloss of the ferrotype plate. In such a case the prints may be soaked in warm water before they are placed on the plates but care should be used to see that they do not become too soft.
There are several ways of backing or mounting ferrotyped prints but the one most commonly used is the muslin back. Pieces of muslin are cut the required size, soaked in water and wrung dry. As soon as the prints have been rolled down on the plates they are given a good coat of paste, the muslin is laid on, rubbed down and the print and mount dry together.
If prints are to have a hinge they are so placed on the plate that the margin to be used as a hinge can be pasted to the plate. When thoroughly dry the muslin hinge as well as the backed print will strip from the plate, the hinge having a stiff paste filler with the same glossy surface as the print.
Eastman Photo Paste or a good starch paste will be found best for muslin backing.
Another material commonly used by commercial photographers for backing ferrotyped prints is Gummed Holland Cloth. With this cloth it is only necessary to wet the gummed surface and apply the cloth to the back of the print that has been placed on the ferrotype plate.
One of the advantages of this cloth is the fact that it does not ravel out along the edges of the print as is often the case with the muslin backing.
Another advantage is that glossy prints may be dry mounted to both sides of Holland Cloth that is not gummed. This cloth is used extensively by book binders and may be secured either plain or.gummed as desired.
When it is necessary to mount dull surfaced prints on muslin the best method is to stretch the muslin over a wooden frame, paste the prints, mount them on the muslin and allow them to dry, then cut the muslin away from the frame.
If it is desired to have heavy weight ferrotyped prints that will not curl they may be placed on the plates and a piece of backing paper mounted on the back of each print. As the coated side of the backing paper has considerable gloss, the backed print not only has a glossy surface but a glossy back as well.
Portrait Film Negative, Artura Print By M. A. Grady Seattle, Wash.