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Miranda, A very interesting post. Things are a little more complicated in inkjet technology than traditional printmaking, because of the *extremely* small particle size needed to get the inks through those jets. When stuff gets that small, odd and unexpected things seem to happen. A good starting point regarding your research would be the paper; "Stability Issues and Test Methods for Ink Jet Materials, Barbara Vogt, Department of Image Engineering, University of Applied Science, Cologne. It can be downloaded from the following site: http://www.geocities.com/mortenryhl/index.html It's a long paper, and sometimes extremely technical, but it really lays out the problem of the interactions between all the materials involved, including how the coating materials can affect the stability of the inks. It also talks about how it's more than light and air (atmospheric exposure) that degrades inks. Also, I believe the latest research shows that 'over coating' the final images can cause faster degradation than no over coat at all. Harvey Ferdschneider partner, SKID Photography, NYC firstname.lastname@example.org wrote: > I’m quite new here and I’m learning a lot (thanks!), but > I’ve come across pretty consistent ideas about > paper/printer issues that I have questions about. > > First, a disclaimer: My background is in printmaking > rather than computer graphics or photography. I have > used photos and computers in my work for many years, but > always experimenting with the technology as a user -- > rather than trying to become an expert. (I was computer > graphics T.A. in school, but it was a Mac w/2mb ram and > a 20mb HD ? now you know how very old I am!!) So I’m > just going to lay out what I’ve learned about paper and > ink in school and in 15 years of making art and invite > your feedback. > > Part of being a printmaker (for me anyway) is > experimenting with methods and media. To do this, it’s > better to understand how color sits (and stays) on > paper, than to understand one paper and one ink. Then > you can apply what you know to help you use a new > technology (or an old one) to make the image you > envision. With color applied to paper any mark-making > stuff has to have two elements: Color and Binder: > > Color can be carbon (charcoal/black inks/toner & one of > the few truly permanent color-materials), pigment (oil > paint, most trad. color inks, watercolor and now inkjet > inks) or dye (fabric dyes, some types of paint and now > inkjet inks). > > Binder keeps it on the paper. Some media has very > little (they have to store Degas’ pastel drawings flat - > every time they are held up, pigment flutters off), but > most media are stronger (A Rembrandt etching you see > today is probably still as he printed it). It’s what > the oil in oil paint is for, or the gum arabic in > watercolor, or the solvents in other printing methods. > I don’t know what the binder is in inkjet ink, but I > would assume it’s a quick-evaporating chemical solvent. > The binder will also affect how far color can “sink” > into the paper (if it sinks in, it will be a stronger > bond.) > > So, in my little world there are 2 dangers to the > longevity of work on paper: fading and flaking. The > fading of inkjet ink I understand. (I use MIS and keep > my fingers crossed). But there doesn’t seem to be any > danger of flaking with these inks -- they‘re quite well > adhered. > > There is no evidence in art conservation that a coated > paper surface would reduce fading of an image. It will > certainly affect how the color sits on the paper, but it > can’t affect the fade because that it caused by the sun > and air and coatings are underneath the ink (the over- > sprays do help). I don’t know what the inkjet paper > coatings are (closely guarded secret apparently), but if > they seal the paper completely, the could actually cause > the image to flake because they would prevent proper > binding. (So IMO mfg. statements about “longevity > depends on ink and paper combination” are misleading.) > > I see my “printmaker approach” as fundamentally > different from the “photographer approach” in that I use > the shifts and quirks and limitations of a technology > rather than trying to get it to imitate something else > (either wet printed photos or the info on the > negative). Some of my favorite images are photos > xeroxed on Japanese rice paper in 1993: > Technically “bad” quality repros, but the degraded > images look like dreamy trees in snow. (PS: no fading > and no flaking.) > > I run all kinds of paper through my 1160 (it’s such a > trooper!). When looking at a new paper I check to make > sure it doesn’t have too “soft” a surface (that it > doesn’t have a lot of loose fibers) so they won’t come > off in the printer. I look at the thickness ? the 1160 > is pretty flexible, but I try to be nice to it. > Otherwise, I just cut it to size, run it through and see > what happens. Obviously, super realism is not my aim, > but the images have a presence that is still quite > wonderful. And HP and Epson and Kodak are rank amateurs > when compared to the presence of paper made by the > masters at a 500 year old Italian mill (IMO). > > All printed images (ALL) should be protected from direct > sun and should be stored or presented so as to prevent > rubbing the surface. That’s just the nature of work on > paper and no ink or coating will change the fact that > paper is more vulnerable than oil on canvas or metal > sculpture or... > > I guess this is a bit of a rant, and I do realize that > photographers have different objectives and issues, but > I also hear smart and sincere people on this list kind > of being yanked by commercial paper makers ? very > worried about printing on this or that, what it will do > to the printer, and so on. Instead of being tethered to > ideas of hyper-realist photography and trying to impose > that on this technology, why not open yourself up to the > what this stuff can do when you let it. (IMHumbleO). > > Sincerely, > > Miranda Maher > - > - Turn off HTML mail features. Keep quoted material short. Use accurate subject lines. http://www.leben.com/lists for list instructions.