A Non-Silver Manual: Resources

The Resources chapter of Sarah Van Keuren’s book “A Non-Silver Manual: Cyanotype, Vandyke Brown, Palladium & Gum Bichromate with instructions for making light-resists including pinhole photography”.

Writer / Sarah van Keuren

Sarah adds: Rather than attempting to update resources and prices I am presenting them as they appear in my last printing of the manual, 3rd Edition, 10th Revision, July 2010.

Read the previous section of this book.

There have been many requests for sources of chemicals, films, papers, and other supplies for non-silver processes. The large chemical companies are not allowed to sell certain chemicals to individuals without some kind of institutional letterhead. The following pages list smaller suppliers who will sell to individuals.

I discourage the accumulation of toxic chemicals in the home, especially where there are children. Try not to order more of a chemical than you are certain to use because it is even harder to safely dispose of hazardous materials than it is to acquire them. If you plan to print in non-silver in a home studio, under no circumstances should it be done in the kitchen and preferably not in the bathroom either. Proper disposal of chemicals makes a difference in the environment and is a moral issue. Damage can be done to water quality and waste water systems by improper dumping of some of these chemicals.

Bostick & Sullivan, in Santa Fe has always been our supplier of palladium chemicals. Out of the recent economic turmoil it has now emerged as the most reasonably priced, competent supplier of all our non-silver chemicals. This family-owned business has a toll free number and can be reached on weekdays between 9:15 A.M. and 4:30 P.M. Mountain Time to answer technical questions. You can download their catalog and also log onto their Alt Photo Discussion Group. They offer workshops and sell many good books along with various papers and films. Melody Bostick recently gave me the welcome news that the $25-$35 hazardous shipping fee for certain chemicals such as dichromates has been lifted now that the chemicals are shipped by UPS ground. Her husband Richard Sullivan is a serious photographer who has done important historical research, advancing the art of palladium and carbon printing.
Utrecht Art Supply at Broad and Spruce in Philadelphia is our nearby school source of BFK Rives, the traditional paper for printing in gum bichromate. BFK can be purchased at a discount in single sheets and further discounted packs of 25 sheets. This local branch of Utrecht stocks hard-to-obtain Arches Platine paper at a reasonable price especially for our non-silver classes. Lots of other useable papers as well as Winsor & Newton Artists’ Water Colours and other good watercolors are available and discounted in all Utrecht stores.

Freestyle Sales Co. sells inexpensive Arista-II Ortho Litho Film film that works well.

Although the sun is free and a powerful source of actinic light, a reliable indoor UV light source is a necessity for some non-silver printers. Photographers Jesseca Ferguson of Boston and Ernestine Ruben of Princeton are very pleased with their exposure units from Edwards Engineered Products at www.EEPJON.com. Jon Edwards also sells coating rods, which help to conserve precious palladium chemistry.

Through the Alternative Processes List that I joined in January 2000 and left in August 2001, my knowledge of non-silver deepened considerably. People from all over the world, with backgrounds in every area imaginable, generously contribute wisdom gained through experience. It is possible to peruse the archives of this list by subject matter (thread) as well as date and contributor at Alt-Photo-Process Archives. See here how to subscribe to the alt-photo-process mailing list

Judy Seigel, who is a major contributor to the Alt-Photo List, produced The World Journal of Post-Factory Photography. Issue #1 came out in April 1998 & the final Issue #9 in April 2004. It is highly recommended that the serious non-silver photographer obtain a set of these invaluable, very reasonably priced journals while supplies last. They are almost certain to become collectors’ items:

Post-Factory Press
61 Morton St.
New York, NY 10014

E-mail: info@post-factory.org

Malin Fabbri in Sweden has been a vital force in the non-silver realm for nearly 10 years with her well-designed, comprehensive Alternativephotography.com website. She features an extensive gallery of work by non-silver artists from all over the world, an online bookstore (which carries her books Blueprint to cyanotypes, From pinhole to print, this manual, and lots more). There are free How-To descriptions of non-silver processes with relevant books listed. Also there is a Forum for discussion and sharing information, a Facebook page and a Newsletter. Malin is friendly and accessible.


Bostick & Sullivan
P.0. Box 16639
Santa Fe, NM 87506
Website: www.bostick-sullivan.com
Email: melody-bosticksullivan.com
Helpline: (505)474-0890 Weekdays 9:15 am- 4:30 pm Mountain Time;
Toll Free (877) 817-4320

Palladium Printing Chemicals:
Solution A #1 (palladium) 25ml $8.75 100ml $27.50
Solution B #2 ” 25ml $8.75 100ml $27.50
Solution C #3 ” 25ml $59.95 100ml $189.00
Na2 20% Sodium Chloroplatinate 10ml $80.00 25ml $199.00
B&S Ammonium Citrate Developer 1qt $15.00 1 gallon $50.00
Potassium Oxalate Developer 1qt $15.00 1 gallon $55.50
B&S Clearing Agent EDTA 1000gm $30.00 5000gm $130.00
Sodium Sulfite 1000gm $10.00 5000gm $25.00

Gum Bichromate Supplies:
Ammonium Dichromate 100gm $16.00 500gm $72.00
Potassium Dichromate 100gm $10.25 500gm $43.75
Gum Arabic Solution 14 Baume 100ml $5.00 500ml $13.00
Sodium Bisulfite 250gm $5.00 1000gm $12.00

Cyanotype Chemicals:
Ferric Ammonium Citrate 250gm $14.00 1000gm $39.50
Potassium Ferricyanide 250gm $8.00 1000gm $22.95
Sodium Carbonate 250gm $4.50 1000gm $8.00
Tannic Acid 100gm $11.00 500gm $44.00

Vandyke Brown Chemicals:
Silver Nitrate 30gm $28.99 100gm $70.00
Ferric Ammonium Citrate (see above under cyanotype)
Tartaric Acid 100gm $11.00 250gm $15.00

Edwards Engineered Products
Jon Edwards
5304 Arrowhead Drive
P.O. Box 4461
Lago Vista, TX 78645-4461
Website: www.eepjon.com
Email: jone@eepjon.com
Voice: (512) 267-4274 Fax: (512) 267-4274

UV Light Sources for Platinum/Palladium Printers (and all other non-silver processes)
11˝ x 14˝ $615.00
14˝ x 16˝ $755.00
18˝ x 20˝ $995.00
20˝ x 24˝ $2765.00
24˝ x 30˝ $3220.00
Coating Rods for Platinum/Palladium Printers in 5 sizes.

Freestyle Photographic Supplies
5124 Sunset Blvd,
Los Angeles, CA 90027

Website: www.freestylephoto.com Open 7 days a week, minimum. order $25
Toll Free (800) 292-6137 Toll Free Fax (800) 616-3686;

Arista Ortho Litho Film (orthochromatic lith film) in a wide range of size comparable to Kodalith type III; five examples:

#525104 10˝ x 12˝/100 sheets $76.99
#525114 11˝ x 14˝/100 sheets $95.49
#522124 12˝ x 18˝/100 sheets $185.99
#522163 16˝ x 20˝/50 sheets $136.99
#522200 20˝ x 24˝/10 sheets $54.00

Light Impressions
P.O. Box 2100
Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670
Website: www.lightimpressionsdirect.com
Toll Free: (800) 828-6216 Toll Free Fax (800) 828-5539

Storage and matting materials including Westminster Non-Buffered inkjet media & inks (warrantees are voided with printers if proprietary inks are not used)

Utrecht Art Supply
33 Thirty Fifth Street
Brooklyn, NY 11232

BFK Rives – white (250 grs.) 22˝ x 30˝ 1 sheet $4.99 25 sheets $93.80
BFK Rives – white (280 grs.) 22˝ x 30˝ 1 sheet $5.89 25 sheets $
Arches Platine 22˝ x 30˝ 1 sheet $6.29 only at Broad & Spruce, Phila.

Winsor & Newton Artists’ Water Colours—Ask for brochure listing new & discontinued colors 2002; see page 8 for a listing of colors that have and haven’t worked for us.

Series 1 W&N 5ml tube $6.69 14ml tube $11.19
Series 2 W&N 5ml tube $7.59 14ml tube $12.59
Series 3 W&N 5ml tube $8.49 14ml tube $13.49
Series 4 W&N 5ml tube $9.99 14ml tube $17.49

Recommended Periodicals & Books

Judy Seigel, The World Journal of Post-Factory Photography, Post-Factory Press, 61 Morton Street, New York, NY 10014 <info@post-factory.org>

Christopher James, The Book of Alternative Photographic Processes, Delmar, 2008 2nd Edition

Lyle Rexer, Photography’s Antiquarian Avant-Garde: The New Wave in Old Processes, Abrams, 2002

Eric Renner and Nancy Spencer, editors, Pinhole Journal, Pinhole Resource, Star Route 15, Box 1355, San Lorenzo, NM 88041 ; (no longer published but wonderful back issues available)

Philip Ball, Bright Earth: Art and the Invention of Color, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2001

John Barnier, ed., Coming Into Focus, San Francisco Chronicle Books, 2000

Dan Burkholder, Making Digital Negatives for Contact Printing, Bladed Iris Press, Second Edition, 1999

Mike Ware, Cyanotype: The History, Science and Art of Photographic Printing in Prussian Blue published by the Science Museum and the National Museum of Photography, Film & Television, London, 1999

Randall Webb & Martin Reed, Spirits of Salts, London, Aurum Press, 1999

Eric Renner, Pinhole Photography: Rediscovering a Historic Technique 4th Edition 2008

Susan Shaw, Overexposure: Health Hazards in Photography, NY Allworth Press 1991

Larry Schaaf, Sun Gardens: Victorian Photograms by Anna Atkins, Aperture, 1985

William Crawford, The Keepers of Light: A History & Working Guide to Early Photographic Processes, Morgan & Morgan, 1979

Nancy Rexroth, The Platinotype, Formulary Press, Missoula, MT, 1977

Bea Nettles, Breaking the Rules: A Photo Media Cookbook, Light Impressions 1977

Rutherford J. Gettens & George Stout, Painting Materials: A Short Encyclopaedia, Van Nostrand 1942, Dover, 1966

A limited selection of Winsor & Newton Artists’ Water Colours used with success by students and myself for Gum Bichromate printing — least expensive Series 1 unless otherwise noted:
004 Alizarin Crimson (old Series 1 & new more permanent Series 3 – mix w. Quinacridone Magenta for Process Red when printing the M layer of CMYK or cyan, magenta, yellow & black))
010 Antwerp Blue — process blue equivalent
034 Blue Black
042 Bright Red
056 Brown Madder
074 Burnt Sienna
076 Burnt Umber
125 Caput Mortum Violet (Series 2)
142 Charcoal Grey
150 Chinese White — zinc white
217 Davy’s Gray
285 Gold Ochre (Series 2)
317 Indian Red
319 IndianYellow
322 Indigo — sometimes sloughs off
331 Ivory Black
337 Lamp Black — process black
262 Light Red
422 Naples Yellow
430 Neutral Tint
447 Olive Green
465 Payne’s Gray
503 Permanent Sap Green
507 Perylene Maroon (Series 2)
538 Prussian Blue — can slough off
543 Purple Madder
545 Quinacridone Magenta (Series 2 purer magenta hue than Permanent Magenta)
554 Raw Umber
609 Sepia
644 Titanium White
678 Venetian Red
724 Winsor Orange
726 Winsor Red
733 Winsor Violet
730 Winsor Yellow — cold, greenish
653 Transparent Yellow —(Series 2 relatively new warm, transparent, process yellow equivalent)
744 Yellow Ochre
Expensive, used with success by students
137 Cerulean Blue (Series 3)
178 Cobalt Blue (Series 4)
190 Cobalt Turquoise (Series 4)
459 Oxide of Chromium (Series 3)
547 Quinacridone Gold (Series 3)
Expensive, Poisonous and Opaque (all Series 4) use Series 1 or 2 equivalents if possible
Cadmium colors
Discontinued, Incompatible with Dichromate, Fugitive, or Otherwise Problematic
127 Carmine
158 Chrome Lemon
205 Crimson Lake
263 French Ultramarine — often sloughs off, smells sulfurous with some kinds of gum arabic

The end.

Leave a Comment