Platinum/palladium printing resources

DISCLAIMER: Users are responsible for informing themselves about the risks, and to take appropriate precautions in the handling of all equipment and materials listed here.

The author(s) deny all liability for any sickness, injury, damage or loss resulting from the use of the chemicals and equipment listed below.

THIS LIST is a work in progress and presented as a set of guidelines for assembling materials and equipment to make print-out platinum/palladium prints (the ‘Ammonium’ system or the ‘Malde-Ware process’). It is not definitive, and links to retailers are offered as suggestions. Please use the comments section below to offer updates, corrections or ideas, and I will fold these into the list at my discretion. Pradip Malde, June, 2019

Contents show

Archival

Supplies

Gaylord

for boards, boxes, sleeves

Archival Methods

for matt boards, frames, enclosures, sleeves

Aztek

for optically clear mylar film to interleave between negatives and sensitized paper

Museum Services Corporation

for boards, batting paper, optically clear acetate, tissue paper, non-woven polyester fabric

Guidelines

Printing Data Sheet

Books, Readings, Workshops

McCabe, Constance (ed). “Platinum and Palladium Photographs: Technical History, Connoisseurship, and Preservation“, Washington D.C., 2017. A definitive and broad ranging collection of scientific and humanistic articles about the process, and richly illustrated.

Ware, Mike. “Platinomicon: A Technical Account of Photographic Printing in Platinum and Palladium“, Buxton, 2017. An astonishing and comprehensive account, generously made available for free by the author.

Print-out platinum-palladium and PiezoDN Workshop with Pradip Malde – July 29- August 1, 2019 at Cone Editions, Vermont

Chemicals

Note: Some suppliers only fulfill institutional orders, but some will take personal credit cards–shop around. When possible, set up an account as it helps establish  track record and leads to easier ordering.

Ammonium iron(III) oxalate

(NH4)3[Fe(C2O4)3].3H2O aka ferric ammonium oxalate; ammonium ferrioxalate
from Alfa Aesar and Inkjet Mall

Ammonium tetrachloroplatinate(II)

(NH4)2[PtCl4]
aka ammonium chloroplatinite from Inkjet Mall

Ammonium tetrachloropalladate(II)

(NH4)2[PdCl4]
aka ammonium chloropalladite from Inkjet Mall

Tween 20

aka polysorbate 20

Glycerin

EDTA disodium

Sodium sulfite

sodium metabisulfite may also be used, but it tends to irritate respiratory systems for some people

or use Kodak Hypo Clearing Agent, at working strength dilutions indicated on packet

EDTA tetrasodium

Environmental

Air Quality

All work, from the preparation of sensitizers to print drying, should be carried out in a well ventilated room that has 10 or more exchanges of air per hour. The air should be free of particulate matter. Most domestic HVAC systems generate this sort of airflow in the regular ‘night cooling’ mode. Special attention, however, must be paid to the direction of airflow when mixing solutions from solids. Wear a respirator of at least N95 filtration, and ensure that the airflow direction is across the preparation area and away from people.

Disposal

Light

Temperature

Ventilation

Water

Equipment

Essential

Drying unit for sensitized paper

make your own cheaply with gaffer taperigid foam board or a large cooler, a hair dryer and a temperature controller with thermostat switch

Food dehydrator – Excalibur 5-tray unit, solid color, no timer, 15×15 inch trays

Paper for sensitizing

type is followed by batch/make numbers that are known to produce good results

Arches Platine, 145 or 310 gsm [145gsm, S201015 1795209] [310gsm, S104617 1795169]

Revere Platinum, 320 gsm [VOR160425 15014781]

Reich CT Clear (a.k.a. vellum) 48# NB: thinner versions work, but require much more careful handling [S99-RPT320WH2230]

most of these papers are also available from InkjetMall

Measuring beaker, low form 1 to 2L

Syringes

Luer slip tip, not lock tip and no needle – at least 4, calibrated,  1 cc,  3 cc

Adjustable Micropipettes

are also very useful for accurate and repeatable measurements of small volumes. The 100-1000µl is good for extremely small volumes such as those needed for adding Tween and/or Glycerin to the sensitizer, and 1000-5000µl sizes may be most appropriate for volumes for areas up to 11×14 inches. Slip tips will be needed for each size, but only a few – they last a long time.

 Mixing vessel

small liqueur or ‘shot’ glass for mixing the sensitizer

Clear bottles, approx. 50ml x 2

for storing diluted solutions of Tween/Glycerin

Coating the sensitizer

Glass plate

for coating – at least 1/4″thick, ‘pencil polished’ edge and rounded corners

Glass coating rod

Level tool

Blue tape, weights or clips

Hydration boxes

See this video for instructions about how to make hydration boxes / chambers.  The dimensions below are to make a box large enough for a 20×24″ sheet of paper. If making 8×10″ prints on 11×14″ paper, it will be more economical in terms of space and cost to build a 16×20″ hydration box

photo/hypo tray

storage trays or similar – these should be plastic, opaque and with a level lip wide enough to adhere weather strip. The tray’s opening, in this case 20×24″, should be at least 2″ smaller than the ‘lid’ as illustrated in the manual

EPDM Cellular (a.k.a. ‘closed cell’) Rubber Weather-Strip Tape

protective grid

suspended light ceiling panel -optional, and if used, cut it down to fit inside the tray, suspended about half-way down

lid

with one 26-gauge (or thinner) zinc-plated sheet metal, 24×30″

sandwiched between two glass sheets, 24×30″

1.5 to 2″ wide gaffer or masking tape to bind and edge the sandwich

paper holders with magnetic pins

Hygrometer/Thermometer, with interior/exterior probes

Contact Print frame – hinged-back, with steel springs

(do not get this type)

UV printing unit

Edwards Engineered Products

Arista UV Lightsource

PPM-2 Meter with External Long-UV-Wavelength Sensor – not essential but very helpful

Paper towel

Timer – for iPhones: MultiTimer

Processing trays (5)

Tongs or  strong plastic gloves

Wash system

five gentle changes of water at 68F ± 5 degrees every 5 minutes, or in gentle running water for 20-25 minutes with something like the Kodak Automatic Tray Siphon

Draining surface

Vertical glass or plexiglass sheet for draining washed prints

Blotting tablets with blotting paper

Print drying racks or more blotting paper

Dry mounting press

or pressing boards for print flattening

*Essential only if preparing the sensitizer solutions, in addition to the above list

Pyrex/Corning glass beakers

3 50mL and 1 100mL (Amazon sells multi-size packs, and may be most economical to get to or more packs)

Measuring cylinder, very accurate

50 cc (a set lets you double check and establish one of the pieces as your ‘standard’)

Scales or chemical balance sensitive to 0.1 g

Glass stirring rods

Conical filter funnel ca. 5-6 cm diameter

Filter paper Whatman Grade #1 ca. 8-10 cm diameter

Brown glass bottles 3 x 50 cc or amber PET bottles and labels

Hotplate/Stirrer (or bath of very hot water)

Thermometer, range 10C to 50C at least

Other Stuff

Loupe

6x or 10x Light Gathering Loupe is good for looking at details in a print

Suppliers

ArtCraft Chemicals

Resources

Alternative Photography Suppliers List