Saturday, March 5, 2016

What if I mordanted my paper with........?

One of my Facebook friends asked in a post if anyone had ever used oak gall tannin as a mordant for paper.
I had not, but I responded that I was planning to make paper prints today and that I had some gall nut powder left and some Myrobalan.  I had found some late leaves on a Red Maple tree in the swamp that was also loaded with this years samaras (helicopters) and that I would try both today.
I set up two Stainless steel pots with plain tap water, and used 1 level teaspoon of gall nut powder to a half galloon of warm water and 1 teaspoon of Myrobalan to 1/2 gallon of warm water as a mordant/soaking liquid for my papers and my maple leaves and samaras. (Each in their own container)  I prepared each stack of prints between two ceramic tiles then bound them tightly with natural rubber bands and place each in a separate pot of boiling water.  I cooked them for 1 hr. and then let them cool.  The prints soaked in Myrobalan had a pale yellow background, some good prints and a couple of outstanding prints.  The prints soaked in gall nut tannin had a darker, more brownish background and slightly darker colors.  As the tannin prints began to dry, areas of blue grey began to appear.
Here are the photos from both groups.  These are both front and back photos of the same prints, so some will appear clear and some will not.  I can also tell that the stacks could have been tied much tighter as are was trapped between the leaves and the paper.

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These are all prints from the stack that had been mordanted with Myrobalan on 90# card stock.

These are the prints that were mordanted with Oak gall nut tannin.

There is as very real difference between the two mordants and I imagine that if you added iron at all, the gal nut prints would go very dark.  You might would need to decrease the amount from 1 teaspoon.

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