Carbon Journal, Day 4

Day 4: Restarting the Cycle

One custom carbon + sensitizer batch down, infinitely more combinations to go! :D

10lbs. of gelatin makes a heck of a lot of carbon tissue! 

10lbs. of gelatin makes a heck of a lot of carbon tissue! 

3:45PM - Arrived early to weigh out 150g of gelatin. Brought the solution up to 1.5L volume with distilled water. Letting bloom for 1 hour, this is going to be a LOT of glop!

4:20PM - Pre-weighed sugar, watercolor pigment, and pre-measured Isopropyl alcohol and glycerin.

Not only do I have a sweet tooth, the low RH of the darkroom calls for more plasticity in the tissue. ;)

Not only do I have a sweet tooth, the low RH of the darkroom calls for more plasticity in the tissue. ;)

Left to Right: Black Cat India Ink (pigment), Isopropyl alcohol (removes bubbles), Glycerin (surfacant). 

Left to Right: Black Cat India Ink (pigment), Isopropyl alcohol (removes bubbles), Glycerin (surfacant). 

4:47PM - Carbon has now fully bloomed and is starting to resemble a smelly, less-appealing Jello Jiggler. It's still got a long way to go before it can hold a photographic image, so for now, it's off to the hot bath!

Leaving the stirring handle in the gelatin helps me know when the gelatin is "just right". 

Leaving the stirring handle in the gelatin helps me know when the gelatin is "just right". 

5:23PM - Carbon is starting to show signs of melting, releasing many of the trapped air bubbles present when initially mixing.

This frothy, still somewhat smelly mess is ready for sugar + pigment!

This frothy, still somewhat smelly mess is ready for sugar + pigment!

5:25PM - Watercolor pigment and sugar in stirred in, making sure to evenly disperse both. Glop will now sit for several minutes to heat back up to ~ 105 degrees (F).

Don't worry about those bubbles, they're going away very, very soon.

Don't worry about those bubbles, they're going away very, very soon.

5:29PM - Glop has now heated up, isopropyl alcohol is stirred in, removing 80% of all visible bubbles instantly. Next, the glycerin is added; this will not only aid in the "gassing out" process, but will also help the carbon tissue remain curl free while drying.

Glop is filtered through an old t-shirt I don't care much for, probably because it's from an ex-girlfriend. ;)

Glop is filtered through an old t-shirt I don't care much for, probably because it's from an ex-girlfriend. ;)

5:35PM - Glop has been filtered into its new container and placed back into a fresh hot water bath. Here it will "gas out" for ~2.5 hours, eliminating micro-bubbles that would otherwise ruin a final carbon print.

8:07PM - After a long dinner break, the glop appears jet black, glossy, and bubble free. Time to pour!

8:18PM - Pouring stations 1-4 assembled, 10x12 x-ray film bathing in warm water, squeegees and sponge ready to get to work.

Pouring stations 1-4, with poured carbon cooling off and setting.

Pouring stations 1-4, with poured carbon cooling off and setting.

8:30PM - First four carbon tissues poured, this time pouring 150ml glop per 10x12 tissue. With new pigment concentration, this should allow for slightly more relief than previous batches (see below).

8:40PM - Tissues 1-4 moved to film drying cabinet, starting to pour tissues 5-8.

8:59PM - The 9th and final tissue is ready to dry, and time to cleanup and head home!

I like my carbon tissues like I like my...umm...let's just say its really nice and thick, OK?!

I like my carbon tissues like I like my...umm...let's just say its really nice and thick, OK?!