More Platine history


kerik
 

I made my first platinum/palladium print in 1988 or 1989 and I’ve made thousands since. 

Arches Platine had been around for awhile when COT320 first came out.  COT320 was sold under the Bergger label in cut sheet sizes like standard photo paper. At one point I special ordered full 22x30 sheets from one of the distributors at that time. It came in a package labeled Bergger COT320. Anyone want to guess what the watermark on the full sheets said??

If you guessed Arches Platine, pat yourself on the back. Bergger seems to make labels rather than the actual products it sells. 

It is true that Platine has been inconsistent and I haven’t bought any fresh stock in several years now. I have tried and used countless papers over the years. Platine was the first that was designed for pt/pd printing and if my memory serves, I believe Martin Axon was involved with designing the paper with Arches. 

Some of the best prints I’ve ever made have been on Platine. When it was good it was great. I would buy a few sheets from a batch (each batch had an ID) and when I found a good batch I would stock up on that batch number. When it was bad, it was useless for pt/pd. 

I have been told that COT320 is Platine with a different sizing, but I don’t know that for a fact. When I was one of the beta testers for Hahnemuhle Platinum Rag I emphasized in my review of this wonderful paper, that above all else, it needed to be consistent from batch to batch. That has certainly been the case and it has become my go-to paper from the day it came out. 

Another rumor I heard about Platine was that it varied over the course of a year’s production based on the seasonal changes in the chemistry of the water in the river that is the water source for Arches. Again, I have no proof of that, but I’ve heard it from more than one source. 

A little history from a guy that’s been around the pt/pd block more than a few times. 

Kerik Kouklis 



Jeremy Moore
 

This whole email is just rambling so it definitely won’t help if you’re trying to fix some bad Platine, but I wrote it so I’m sending it anyway 😆

I’ve been printing and educating other printers for a couple of decades now and the vast majority of complaints I’ve heard occur when folks working in Alt forget something Judy Siegel beat into my head:

Regardless of what I think, my work is fundamentally a “post-factory process”.

Being an academic, there’s a whole host of connotations and assumptions for me there, but a quick & dirty definition is while tools and supplies might be found they will not be consistent and/or specific and/or readily available ——Was it Judy that said “if the tools were specific they were ‘spensive!”? I’m going to attribute it to her as she was my queen of repurposing materials for photo 👑

So, if I can’t rely on anyone to make anything for me, I have to be prepared to make it work for me, which is why Kerik’s quote below should be applied to any & all purchases used for production:
“I would buy a few sheets from a batch (each batch had an ID) and when I found a good batch I would stock up on that batch number. When it was bad, it was useless for pt/pd.”

I can’t really think of any Alt printers I consider my favorites or amongst the best that don’t have a strong background in science and/or academics, so those methods must work!

Jeremy@...

On Fri, Aug 20, 2021 at 10:30 AM kerik <kerik@...> wrote:
I made my first platinum/palladium print in 1988 or 1989 and I’ve made thousands since. 

Arches Platine had been around for awhile when COT320 first came out.  COT320 was sold under the Bergger label in cut sheet sizes like standard photo paper. At one point I special ordered full 22x30 sheets from one of the distributors at that time. It came in a package labeled Bergger COT320. Anyone want to guess what the watermark on the full sheets said??

If you guessed Arches Platine, pat yourself on the back. Bergger seems to make labels rather than the actual products it sells. 

It is true that Platine has been inconsistent and I haven’t bought any fresh stock in several years now. I have tried and used countless papers over the years. Platine was the first that was designed for pt/pd printing and if my memory serves, I believe Martin Axon was involved with designing the paper with Arches. 

Some of the best prints I’ve ever made have been on Platine. When it was good it was great. I would buy a few sheets from a batch (each batch had an ID) and when I found a good batch I would stock up on that batch number. When it was bad, it was useless for pt/pd. 

I have been told that COT320 is Platine with a different sizing, but I don’t know that for a fact. When I was one of the beta testers for Hahnemuhle Platinum Rag I emphasized in my review of this wonderful paper, that above all else, it needed to be consistent from batch to batch. That has certainly been the case and it has become my go-to paper from the day it came out. 

Another rumor I heard about Platine was that it varied over the course of a year’s production based on the seasonal changes in the chemistry of the water in the river that is the water source for Arches. Again, I have no proof of that, but I’ve heard it from more than one source. 

A little history from a guy that’s been around the pt/pd block more than a few times. 

Kerik Kouklis 



Diana Bloomfield, <dlhbloomfield@...>
 

Well, I can’t see the point in agonizing over a paper— and a relatively expensive one at that— that, for whatever reasons is totally  inconsistent in its production methods— so much so, that you have to rely on batch numbers and/or secret codes, and a reliable distributor who may or may not stock it. And certainly not when there’s at least one consistently reliable, beautiful, versatile, and affordable paper out there (Hahnemuhle/HPR).

I refuse to deal with paper companies— or any other company, for that matter, that can’t get their act together and consistently produce a reliable product. Why would you?  Life is too short. 

So regardless of the science or academic background, struggling over paper and batches and secret codes and returning paper and paying more than you need to these days just seems really dumb. It doesn’t take a strong science background to come to that conclusion. 

And I’ve never seen an alt process printer whose work I liked that didn’t have a vision and a strong creative eye. 

Diana

On Mon, Aug 23, 2021 at 7:51 AM Jeremy Moore <alt.photosbyjeremy@...> wrote:
This whole email is just rambling so it definitely won’t help if you’re trying to fix some bad Platine, but I wrote it so I’m sending it anyway 😆

I’ve been printing and educating other printers for a couple of decades now and the vast majority of complaints I’ve heard occur when folks working in Alt forget something Judy Siegel beat into my head:

Regardless of what I think, my work is fundamentally a “post-factory process”.

Being an academic, there’s a whole host of connotations and assumptions for me there, but a quick & dirty definition is while tools and supplies might be found they will not be consistent and/or specific and/or readily available ——Was it Judy that said “if the tools were specific they were ‘spensive!”? I’m going to attribute it to her as she was my queen of repurposing materials for photo 👑

So, if I can’t rely on anyone to make anything for me, I have to be prepared to make it work for me, which is why Kerik’s quote below should be applied to any & all purchases used for production:
“I would buy a few sheets from a batch (each batch had an ID) and when I found a good batch I would stock up on that batch number. When it was bad, it was useless for pt/pd.”

I can’t really think of any Alt printers I consider my favorites or amongst the best that don’t have a strong background in science and/or academics, so those methods must work!

Jeremy@...

On Fri, Aug 20, 2021 at 10:30 AM kerik <kerik@...> wrote:
I made my first platinum/palladium print in 1988 or 1989 and I’ve made thousands since. 

Arches Platine had been around for awhile when COT320 first came out.  COT320 was sold under the Bergger label in cut sheet sizes like standard photo paper. At one point I special ordered full 22x30 sheets from one of the distributors at that time. It came in a package labeled Bergger COT320. Anyone want to guess what the watermark on the full sheets said??

If you guessed Arches Platine, pat yourself on the back. Bergger seems to make labels rather than the actual products it sells. 

It is true that Platine has been inconsistent and I haven’t bought any fresh stock in several years now. I have tried and used countless papers over the years. Platine was the first that was designed for pt/pd printing and if my memory serves, I believe Martin Axon was involved with designing the paper with Arches. 

Some of the best prints I’ve ever made have been on Platine. When it was good it was great. I would buy a few sheets from a batch (each batch had an ID) and when I found a good batch I would stock up on that batch number. When it was bad, it was useless for pt/pd. 

I have been told that COT320 is Platine with a different sizing, but I don’t know that for a fact. When I was one of the beta testers for Hahnemuhle Platinum Rag I emphasized in my review of this wonderful paper, that above all else, it needed to be consistent from batch to batch. That has certainly been the case and it has become my go-to paper from the day it came out. 

Another rumor I heard about Platine was that it varied over the course of a year’s production based on the seasonal changes in the chemistry of the water in the river that is the water source for Arches. Again, I have no proof of that, but I’ve heard it from more than one source. 

A little history from a guy that’s been around the pt/pd block more than a few times. 

Kerik Kouklis 



Cedric Muscat
 

Diana you hit the nail on the head!  Pity we are too few to have any say against the manufacturers,  they should have quality control with end users in mind.


On Mon, 23 Aug 2021, 21:34 Diana Bloomfield,, <dlhbloomfield@...> wrote:
Well, I can’t see the point in agonizing over a paper— and a relatively expensive one at that— that, for whatever reasons is totally  inconsistent in its production methods— so much so, that you have to rely on batch numbers and/or secret codes, and a reliable distributor who may or may not stock it. And certainly not when there’s at least one consistently reliable, beautiful, versatile, and affordable paper out there (Hahnemuhle/HPR).

I refuse to deal with paper companies— or any other company, for that matter, that can’t get their act together and consistently produce a reliable product. Why would you?  Life is too short. 

So regardless of the science or academic background, struggling over paper and batches and secret codes and returning paper and paying more than you need to these days just seems really dumb. It doesn’t take a strong science background to come to that conclusion. 

And I’ve never seen an alt process printer whose work I liked that didn’t have a vision and a strong creative eye. 

Diana

On Mon, Aug 23, 2021 at 7:51 AM Jeremy Moore <alt.photosbyjeremy@...> wrote:
This whole email is just rambling so it definitely won’t help if you’re trying to fix some bad Platine, but I wrote it so I’m sending it anyway 😆

I’ve been printing and educating other printers for a couple of decades now and the vast majority of complaints I’ve heard occur when folks working in Alt forget something Judy Siegel beat into my head:

Regardless of what I think, my work is fundamentally a “post-factory process”.

Being an academic, there’s a whole host of connotations and assumptions for me there, but a quick & dirty definition is while tools and supplies might be found they will not be consistent and/or specific and/or readily available ——Was it Judy that said “if the tools were specific they were ‘spensive!”? I’m going to attribute it to her as she was my queen of repurposing materials for photo 👑

So, if I can’t rely on anyone to make anything for me, I have to be prepared to make it work for me, which is why Kerik’s quote below should be applied to any & all purchases used for production:
“I would buy a few sheets from a batch (each batch had an ID) and when I found a good batch I would stock up on that batch number. When it was bad, it was useless for pt/pd.”

I can’t really think of any Alt printers I consider my favorites or amongst the best that don’t have a strong background in science and/or academics, so those methods must work!

Jeremy@...

On Fri, Aug 20, 2021 at 10:30 AM kerik <kerik@...> wrote:
I made my first platinum/palladium print in 1988 or 1989 and I’ve made thousands since. 

Arches Platine had been around for awhile when COT320 first came out.  COT320 was sold under the Bergger label in cut sheet sizes like standard photo paper. At one point I special ordered full 22x30 sheets from one of the distributors at that time. It came in a package labeled Bergger COT320. Anyone want to guess what the watermark on the full sheets said??

If you guessed Arches Platine, pat yourself on the back. Bergger seems to make labels rather than the actual products it sells. 

It is true that Platine has been inconsistent and I haven’t bought any fresh stock in several years now. I have tried and used countless papers over the years. Platine was the first that was designed for pt/pd printing and if my memory serves, I believe Martin Axon was involved with designing the paper with Arches. 

Some of the best prints I’ve ever made have been on Platine. When it was good it was great. I would buy a few sheets from a batch (each batch had an ID) and when I found a good batch I would stock up on that batch number. When it was bad, it was useless for pt/pd. 

I have been told that COT320 is Platine with a different sizing, but I don’t know that for a fact. When I was one of the beta testers for Hahnemuhle Platinum Rag I emphasized in my review of this wonderful paper, that above all else, it needed to be consistent from batch to batch. That has certainly been the case and it has become my go-to paper from the day it came out. 

Another rumor I heard about Platine was that it varied over the course of a year’s production based on the seasonal changes in the chemistry of the water in the river that is the water source for Arches. Again, I have no proof of that, but I’ve heard it from more than one source. 

A little history from a guy that’s been around the pt/pd block more than a few times. 

Kerik Kouklis 


--


 

Philippe (quality control and mill head and creator of the Platine paper essentially) moved from Arches to Canson so this probably had something to do with it IMO . . . . . . .

-Walker_._,_._,_


kerik
 

Just to be clear, the “secret codes” (which were just stickers with a number on them attached to the packaging), is something I dealt with many years ago before HPR, Revere Platinum, Buxton and other purpose-made papers even existed. There were many years when Platine was the only game in town. So the “agonizing” was worth it.  Since HPR came out, at least 95% of my prints and my students’ prints have been made on that paper.

And the last thing I need you to remind me of is that life is short. Duh. 

I was just providing some of my experiences over the 32+ years I’ve been doing this. 

That’s all,
Kerik


On Mon, Aug 23, 2021 at 12:34 PM Diana Bloomfield, <dlhbloomfield@...> wrote:
Well, I can’t see the point in agonizing over a paper— and a relatively expensive one at that— that, for whatever reasons is totally  inconsistent in its production methods— so much so, that you have to rely on batch numbers and/or secret codes, and a reliable distributor who may or may not stock it. And certainly not when there’s at least one consistently reliable, beautiful, versatile, and affordable paper out there (Hahnemuhle/HPR).

I refuse to deal with paper companies— or any other company, for that matter, that can’t get their act together and consistently produce a reliable product. Why would you?  Life is too short. 

So regardless of the science or academic background, struggling over paper and batches and secret codes and returning paper and paying more than you need to these days just seems really dumb. It doesn’t take a strong science background to come to that conclusion. 

And I’ve never seen an alt process printer whose work I liked that didn’t have a vision and a strong creative eye. 

Diana

On Mon, Aug 23, 2021 at 7:51 AM Jeremy Moore <alt.photosbyjeremy@...> wrote:
This whole email is just rambling so it definitely won’t help if you’re trying to fix some bad Platine, but I wrote it so I’m sending it anyway 😆

I’ve been printing and educating other printers for a couple of decades now and the vast majority of complaints I’ve heard occur when folks working in Alt forget something Judy Siegel beat into my head:

Regardless of what I think, my work is fundamentally a “post-factory process”.

Being an academic, there’s a whole host of connotations and assumptions for me there, but a quick & dirty definition is while tools and supplies might be found they will not be consistent and/or specific and/or readily available ——Was it Judy that said “if the tools were specific they were ‘spensive!”? I’m going to attribute it to her as she was my queen of repurposing materials for photo 👑

So, if I can’t rely on anyone to make anything for me, I have to be prepared to make it work for me, which is why Kerik’s quote below should be applied to any & all purchases used for production:
“I would buy a few sheets from a batch (each batch had an ID) and when I found a good batch I would stock up on that batch number. When it was bad, it was useless for pt/pd.”

I can’t really think of any Alt printers I consider my favorites or amongst the best that don’t have a strong background in science and/or academics, so those methods must work!

Jeremy@...

On Fri, Aug 20, 2021 at 10:30 AM kerik <kerik@...> wrote:
I made my first platinum/palladium print in 1988 or 1989 and I’ve made thousands since. 

Arches Platine had been around for awhile when COT320 first came out.  COT320 was sold under the Bergger label in cut sheet sizes like standard photo paper. At one point I special ordered full 22x30 sheets from one of the distributors at that time. It came in a package labeled Bergger COT320. Anyone want to guess what the watermark on the full sheets said??

If you guessed Arches Platine, pat yourself on the back. Bergger seems to make labels rather than the actual products it sells. 

It is true that Platine has been inconsistent and I haven’t bought any fresh stock in several years now. I have tried and used countless papers over the years. Platine was the first that was designed for pt/pd printing and if my memory serves, I believe Martin Axon was involved with designing the paper with Arches. 

Some of the best prints I’ve ever made have been on Platine. When it was good it was great. I would buy a few sheets from a batch (each batch had an ID) and when I found a good batch I would stock up on that batch number. When it was bad, it was useless for pt/pd. 

I have been told that COT320 is Platine with a different sizing, but I don’t know that for a fact. When I was one of the beta testers for Hahnemuhle Platinum Rag I emphasized in my review of this wonderful paper, that above all else, it needed to be consistent from batch to batch. That has certainly been the case and it has become my go-to paper from the day it came out. 

Another rumor I heard about Platine was that it varied over the course of a year’s production based on the seasonal changes in the chemistry of the water in the river that is the water source for Arches. Again, I have no proof of that, but I’ve heard it from more than one source. 

A little history from a guy that’s been around the pt/pd block more than a few times. 

Kerik Kouklis 


--


Diana Bloomfield, <dlhbloomfield@...>
 

If you’re responding to my earlier post, it wasn’t actually directed to you at all, Kerik.  Rather, it was in direct response to Jeremy Moore’s post - and voicing my own frustrating experiences and money spent on Arches Platine (and other inconsistent papers) over the years. I personally got sick to death of searching for secret codes (anybody remember the Pi symbol underneath the big P in Platine that meant something good??)— and hoping to find good batches of inconsistently produced paper when they appeared.  And, in my 40 years of alt process printing— and for my own purposes— which are equally valid ones— Platine was never “the only game in town.”  

And, yes; “life is short.”  It’s a commonly used phrase. As my mother frequently used to tell me, it’s not always about YOU. lol  

Finally, thanks for yours and Christina’s beta testing for HPR and for insisting on consistency.  



 

On Mon, Aug 23, 2021 at 9:11 PM kerik <kerik@...> wrote:
Just to be clear, the “secret codes” (which were just stickers with a number on them attached to the packaging), is something I dealt with many years ago before HPR, Revere Platinum, Buxton and other purpose-made papers even existed. There were many years when Platine was the only game in town. So the “agonizing” was worth it.  Since HPR came out, at least 95% of my prints and my students’ prints have been made on that paper.

And the last thing I need you to remind me of is that life is short. Duh. 

I was just providing some of my experiences over the 32+ years I’ve been doing this. 

That’s all,
Kerik


On Mon, Aug 23, 2021 at 12:34 PM Diana Bloomfield, <dlhbloomfield@...> wrote:
Well, I can’t see the point in agonizing over a paper— and a relatively expensive one at that— that, for whatever reasons is totally  inconsistent in its production methods— so much so, that you have to rely on batch numbers and/or secret codes, and a reliable distributor who may or may not stock it. And certainly not when there’s at least one consistently reliable, beautiful, versatile, and affordable paper out there (Hahnemuhle/HPR).

I refuse to deal with paper companies— or any other company, for that matter, that can’t get their act together and consistently produce a reliable product. Why would you?  Life is too short. 

So regardless of the science or academic background, struggling over paper and batches and secret codes and returning paper and paying more than you need to these days just seems really dumb. It doesn’t take a strong science background to come to that conclusion. 

And I’ve never seen an alt process printer whose work I liked that didn’t have a vision and a strong creative eye. 

Diana

On Mon, Aug 23, 2021 at 7:51 AM Jeremy Moore <alt.photosbyjeremy@...> wrote:
This whole email is just rambling so it definitely won’t help if you’re trying to fix some bad Platine, but I wrote it so I’m sending it anyway 😆

I’ve been printing and educating other printers for a couple of decades now and the vast majority of complaints I’ve heard occur when folks working in Alt forget something Judy Siegel beat into my head:

Regardless of what I think, my work is fundamentally a “post-factory process”.

Being an academic, there’s a whole host of connotations and assumptions for me there, but a quick & dirty definition is while tools and supplies might be found they will not be consistent and/or specific and/or readily available ——Was it Judy that said “if the tools were specific they were ‘spensive!”? I’m going to attribute it to her as she was my queen of repurposing materials for photo 👑

So, if I can’t rely on anyone to make anything for me, I have to be prepared to make it work for me, which is why Kerik’s quote below should be applied to any & all purchases used for production:
“I would buy a few sheets from a batch (each batch had an ID) and when I found a good batch I would stock up on that batch number. When it was bad, it was useless for pt/pd.”

I can’t really think of any Alt printers I consider my favorites or amongst the best that don’t have a strong background in science and/or academics, so those methods must work!

Jeremy@...

On Fri, Aug 20, 2021 at 10:30 AM kerik <kerik@...> wrote:
I made my first platinum/palladium print in 1988 or 1989 and I’ve made thousands since. 

Arches Platine had been around for awhile when COT320 first came out.  COT320 was sold under the Bergger label in cut sheet sizes like standard photo paper. At one point I special ordered full 22x30 sheets from one of the distributors at that time. It came in a package labeled Bergger COT320. Anyone want to guess what the watermark on the full sheets said??

If you guessed Arches Platine, pat yourself on the back. Bergger seems to make labels rather than the actual products it sells. 

It is true that Platine has been inconsistent and I haven’t bought any fresh stock in several years now. I have tried and used countless papers over the years. Platine was the first that was designed for pt/pd printing and if my memory serves, I believe Martin Axon was involved with designing the paper with Arches. 

Some of the best prints I’ve ever made have been on Platine. When it was good it was great. I would buy a few sheets from a batch (each batch had an ID) and when I found a good batch I would stock up on that batch number. When it was bad, it was useless for pt/pd. 

I have been told that COT320 is Platine with a different sizing, but I don’t know that for a fact. When I was one of the beta testers for Hahnemuhle Platinum Rag I emphasized in my review of this wonderful paper, that above all else, it needed to be consistent from batch to batch. That has certainly been the case and it has become my go-to paper from the day it came out. 

Another rumor I heard about Platine was that it varied over the course of a year’s production based on the seasonal changes in the chemistry of the water in the river that is the water source for Arches. Again, I have no proof of that, but I’ve heard it from more than one source. 

A little history from a guy that’s been around the pt/pd block more than a few times. 

Kerik Kouklis 


--


Jeremy Moore
 

I’m not sure why folks agonize or need to have some special relationship. I contact a supplier, discuss my needs and they send me a few sheets from whatever batch IDs they or their distributor have in stock. I print a few tests in a single afternoon, select a batch ID of paper then place my order. When my batch comes I do some printing. If I there is an issue with it I contact the supplier so they can make it right by returning and refunding or replacing paper or whatever, if that is not possible, I file a complaint with Amex or whomever. 

Is that  a special relationship? It’s how I’ve always managed purchasing for neuroscience equipment labs, silicon manufacturing lines, digital media and art reproduction labs, and gang color, b&w, and alt darkrooms. I discuss potential issues with material makers and suppliers before purchase. If a maker or supplier does not follow through on their end of a contract—in this case, providing a batch of paper for my stated needs—it’s on them. I would have monthly or annual budgets I had to meet and seriously can’t imagine buying materials like how some of y’all describe. Especially as the costs go up! I’ve imported consumables and big ticket, capital items from around the world into the US and just used the same methods.

Bob has made the value call that Platine is not worth the potential outcomes for his budget and expense so he’s paying more, which is awesome. BUT he’s also very vocal that Platine is crap, which is pretty shite, IMO. My work wouldn’t be any better on Cot320, I know because I have made the prints, so Cot320 just costs me more $ and I print less. It also makes me feel like a 2nd-hand citizen here on the Alt List because I use that lowly Arches Platine, but anyone who has been in this game a while knows better work comes out of the process and the artist, not the materials. And that’s why Bob’s VERY VOCAL OPINION about Platine is shite, compared to his opinion, which I do respect 😘

Back to Arches vs Bergger:
You pay more for higher and/or additional quality control and materials, which is what Bergger has always done when rebranding materials produced by others.

Maybe think of Arches Platine as a generic house brand and Cot320 as name brand food or clothing, they’re made in the same factory, but one might source higher-quality raw materials or employ additional quality control technicians or more experienced  machine operators. If I buy a bag of frozen chicken I might get more gristle in the store brand, or in the case of Platine occasional impurities that resulted in black spots I would cut out and spot back. Occasional black spots, like occasional gristle, might be the cost of using cheaper materials in this instance, which is what I document and learn from then move on.

In science labs we would purchase varying grades of purity with regards to chemistry, which folks have probably come across here. Think Knox food gelatin vs. laboratory grade, too. Shoot, you can skip the citric acid and just use 7-up! I once did a whole series using film developed in and printed using materials from the grocery store (well, mostly).

I am absolutely thrilled we have so much support in the industry and there are more affordable high-end papers like Hahnemühle now! This is a very recent and potentially fragile change, though. How much upheaval in the global economy or physical environment is necessary to cause just blips in your ability to source these materials temporarily? How about permanently?

My methods work for me and I get to have fun in my studio while saving a significant amount of $. This is super important for me now on a fixed disability income! Life’s short, find what works for you and make art; leave the frustrations to Bob in his tropical paradise 😉

On Mon, Aug 23, 2021 at 9:43 PM Diana Bloomfield, <dlhbloomfield@...> wrote:
If you’re responding to my earlier post, it wasn’t actually directed to you at all, Kerik.  Rather, it was in direct response to Jeremy Moore’s post - and voicing my own frustrating experiences and money spent on Arches Platine (and other inconsistent papers) over the years. I personally got sick to death of searching for secret codes (anybody remember the Pi symbol underneath the big P in Platine that meant something good??)— and hoping to find good batches of inconsistently produced paper when they appeared.  And, in my 40 years of alt process printing— and for my own purposes— which are equally valid ones— Platine was never “the only game in town.”  

And, yes; “life is short.”  It’s a commonly used phrase. As my mother frequently used to tell me, it’s not always about YOU. lol  

Finally, thanks for yours and Christina’s beta testing for HPR and for insisting on consistency.  



 

On Mon, Aug 23, 2021 at 9:11 PM kerik <kerik@...> wrote:
Just to be clear, the “secret codes” (which were just stickers with a number on them attached to the packaging), is something I dealt with many years ago before HPR, Revere Platinum, Buxton and other purpose-made papers even existed. There were many years when Platine was the only game in town. So the “agonizing” was worth it.  Since HPR came out, at least 95% of my prints and my students’ prints have been made on that paper.

And the last thing I need you to remind me of is that life is short. Duh. 

I was just providing some of my experiences over the 32+ years I’ve been doing this. 

That’s all,
Kerik


On Mon, Aug 23, 2021 at 12:34 PM Diana Bloomfield, <dlhbloomfield@...> wrote:
Well, I can’t see the point in agonizing over a paper— and a relatively expensive one at that— that, for whatever reasons is totally  inconsistent in its production methods— so much so, that you have to rely on batch numbers and/or secret codes, and a reliable distributor who may or may not stock it. And certainly not when there’s at least one consistently reliable, beautiful, versatile, and affordable paper out there (Hahnemuhle/HPR).

I refuse to deal with paper companies— or any other company, for that matter, that can’t get their act together and consistently produce a reliable product. Why would you?  Life is too short. 

So regardless of the science or academic background, struggling over paper and batches and secret codes and returning paper and paying more than you need to these days just seems really dumb. It doesn’t take a strong science background to come to that conclusion. 

And I’ve never seen an alt process printer whose work I liked that didn’t have a vision and a strong creative eye. 

Diana

On Mon, Aug 23, 2021 at 7:51 AM Jeremy Moore <alt.photosbyjeremy@...> wrote:
This whole email is just rambling so it definitely won’t help if you’re trying to fix some bad Platine, but I wrote it so I’m sending it anyway 😆

I’ve been printing and educating other printers for a couple of decades now and the vast majority of complaints I’ve heard occur when folks working in Alt forget something Judy Siegel beat into my head:

Regardless of what I think, my work is fundamentally a “post-factory process”.

Being an academic, there’s a whole host of connotations and assumptions for me there, but a quick & dirty definition is while tools and supplies might be found they will not be consistent and/or specific and/or readily available ——Was it Judy that said “if the tools were specific they were ‘spensive!”? I’m going to attribute it to her as she was my queen of repurposing materials for photo 👑

So, if I can’t rely on anyone to make anything for me, I have to be prepared to make it work for me, which is why Kerik’s quote below should be applied to any & all purchases used for production:
“I would buy a few sheets from a batch (each batch had an ID) and when I found a good batch I would stock up on that batch number. When it was bad, it was useless for pt/pd.”

I can’t really think of any Alt printers I consider my favorites or amongst the best that don’t have a strong background in science and/or academics, so those methods must work!

Jeremy@...

On Fri, Aug 20, 2021 at 10:30 AM kerik <kerik@...> wrote:
I made my first platinum/palladium print in 1988 or 1989 and I’ve made thousands since. 

Arches Platine had been around for awhile when COT320 first came out.  COT320 was sold under the Bergger label in cut sheet sizes like standard photo paper. At one point I special ordered full 22x30 sheets from one of the distributors at that time. It came in a package labeled Bergger COT320. Anyone want to guess what the watermark on the full sheets said??

If you guessed Arches Platine, pat yourself on the back. Bergger seems to make labels rather than the actual products it sells. 

It is true that Platine has been inconsistent and I haven’t bought any fresh stock in several years now. I have tried and used countless papers over the years. Platine was the first that was designed for pt/pd printing and if my memory serves, I believe Martin Axon was involved with designing the paper with Arches. 

Some of the best prints I’ve ever made have been on Platine. When it was good it was great. I would buy a few sheets from a batch (each batch had an ID) and when I found a good batch I would stock up on that batch number. When it was bad, it was useless for pt/pd. 

I have been told that COT320 is Platine with a different sizing, but I don’t know that for a fact. When I was one of the beta testers for Hahnemuhle Platinum Rag I emphasized in my review of this wonderful paper, that above all else, it needed to be consistent from batch to batch. That has certainly been the case and it has become my go-to paper from the day it came out. 

Another rumor I heard about Platine was that it varied over the course of a year’s production based on the seasonal changes in the chemistry of the water in the river that is the water source for Arches. Again, I have no proof of that, but I’ve heard it from more than one source. 

A little history from a guy that’s been around the pt/pd block more than a few times. 

Kerik Kouklis 


--

--


 

Also of note here re: currently good paper, Revere Platinum paper (most recent and the currently in stock batch) is very good for PtPd and other iron printing at the moment . . . We bought half the production run of the previous Revere at Cone Editions because we were worried they would never be able to replicate it. But they did (with some hiccups that were fixed), and some say it’s even better than the first batch. It takes chemistry well, clears well, and doesn’t have the powdery coating of HPR (although I do also like HPR).

Warm regards,
Walker


BOB KISS
 

DEAR JEREMY,        

            I think if you read carefully you will see that I never called Platine "shite"...as a matter of fact, I never, myself denigrated the paper!  I simply pointed out that, for decades, I have read about people complaining about numerous and repeated problems with Platine so I asked WHY they persisted in using it.  One person replied that it had always worked for him.  Others were not so lucky!  Others have denigrated Platine...NOT me!  I only asked questions!           

            I also pointed out that I cannot afford to receive a faulty product!  If I do I must often write it off as a loss because the cost of returning it and getting a replacement here in Barbados is prohibitive...which is why I relied on COT 320 with which I never had problems and am growing in appreciation of HPR.    

            And thanks for normally respecting my opinions...I try VERY hard to base them on facts, experience...and other people's answers to my questions.

                                    CHEERS!

                                                BOB

 

From: altphotolist@groups.io [mailto:altphotolist@groups.io] On Behalf Of Jeremy Moore
Sent: Tuesday, August 24, 2021 11:17 AM
To: altphotolist@groups.io
Subject: Re: [altphotolist] More Platine history

 

I’m not sure why folks agonize or need to have some special relationship. I contact a supplier, discuss my needs and they send me a few sheets from whatever batch IDs they or their distributor have in stock. I print a few tests in a single afternoon, select a batch ID of paper then place my order. When my batch comes I do some printing. If I there is an issue with it I contact the supplier so they can make it right by returning and refunding or replacing paper or whatever, if that is not possible, I file a complaint with Amex or whomever. 

 

Is that  a special relationship? It’s how I’ve always managed purchasing for neuroscience equipment labs, silicon manufacturing lines, digital media and art reproduction labs, and gang color, b&w, and alt darkrooms. I discuss potential issues with material makers and suppliers before purchase. If a maker or supplier does not follow through on their end of a contract—in this case, providing a batch of paper for my stated needs—it’s on them. I would have monthly or annual budgets I had to meet and seriously can’t imagine buying materials like how some of y’all describe. Especially as the costs go up! I’ve imported consumables and big ticket, capital items from around the world into the US and just used the same methods.

 

Bob has made the value call that Platine is not worth the potential outcomes for his budget and expense so he’s paying more, which is awesome. BUT he’s also very vocal that Platine is crap, which is pretty shite, IMO. My work wouldn’t be any better on Cot320, I know because I have made the prints, so Cot320 just costs me more $ and I print less. It also makes me feel like a 2nd-hand citizen here on the Alt List because I use that lowly Arches Platine, but anyone who has been in this game a while knows better work comes out of the process and the artist, not the materials. And that’s why Bob’s VERY VOCAL OPINION about Platine is shite, compared to his opinion, which I do respect 😘

 

Back to Arches vs Bergger:

You pay more for higher and/or additional quality control and materials, which is what Bergger has always done when rebranding materials produced by others.

 

Maybe think of Arches Platine as a generic house brand and Cot320 as name brand food or clothing, they’re made in the same factory, but one might source higher-quality raw materials or employ additional quality control technicians or more experienced  machine operators. If I buy a bag of frozen chicken I might get more gristle in the store brand, or in the case of Platine occasional impurities that resulted in black spots I would cut out and spot back. Occasional black spots, like occasional gristle, might be the cost of using cheaper materials in this instance, which is what I document and learn from then move on.

 

In science labs we would purchase varying grades of purity with regards to chemistry, which folks have probably come across here. Think Knox food gelatin vs. laboratory grade, too. Shoot, you can skip the citric acid and just use 7-up! I once did a whole series using film developed in and printed using materials from the grocery store (well, mostly).

 

I am absolutely thrilled we have so much support in the industry and there are more affordable high-end papers like Hahnemühle now! This is a very recent and potentially fragile change, though. How much upheaval in the global economy or physical environment is necessary to cause just blips in your ability to source these materials temporarily? How about permanently?

 

My methods work for me and I get to have fun in my studio while saving a significant amount of $. This is super important for me now on a fixed disability income! Life’s short, find what works for you and make art; leave the frustrations to Bob in his tropical paradise 😉

 

On Mon, Aug 23, 2021 at 9:43 PM Diana Bloomfield, <dlhbloomfield@...> wrote:

If you’re responding to my earlier post, it wasn’t actually directed to you at all, Kerik.  Rather, it was in direct response to Jeremy Moore’s post - and voicing my own frustrating experiences and money spent on Arches Platine (and other inconsistent papers) over the years. I personally got sick to death of searching for secret codes (anybody remember the Pi symbol underneath the big P in Platine that meant something good??)— and hoping to find good batches of inconsistently produced paper when they appeared.  And, in my 40 years of alt process printing— and for my own purposes— which are equally valid ones— Platine was never “the only game in town.”  

 

And, yes; “life is short.”  It’s a commonly used phrase. As my mother frequently used to tell me, it’s not always about YOU. lol  

 

Finally, thanks for yours and Christina’s beta testing for HPR and for insisting on consistency.  

 

 

 

 

 

On Mon, Aug 23, 2021 at 9:11 PM kerik <kerik@...> wrote:

Just to be clear, the “secret codes” (which were just stickers with a number on them attached to the packaging), is something I dealt with many years ago before HPR, Revere Platinum, Buxton and other purpose-made papers even existed. There were many years when Platine was the only game in town. So the “agonizing” was worth it.  Since HPR came out, at least 95% of my prints and my students’ prints have been made on that paper.

 

And the last thing I need you to remind me of is that life is short. Duh. 

 

I was just providing some of my experiences over the 32+ years I’ve been doing this. 

 

That’s all,

Kerik

 

 

On Mon, Aug 23, 2021 at 12:34 PM Diana Bloomfield, <dlhbloomfield@...> wrote:

Well, I can’t see the point in agonizing over a paper— and a relatively expensive one at that— that, for whatever reasons is totally  inconsistent in its production methods— so much so, that you have to rely on batch numbers and/or secret codes, and a reliable distributor who may or may not stock it. And certainly not when there’s at least one consistently reliable, beautiful, versatile, and affordable paper out there (Hahnemuhle/HPR).

 

I refuse to deal with paper companies— or any other company, for that matter, that can’t get their act together and consistently produce a reliable product. Why would you?  Life is too short. 

 

So regardless of the science or academic background, struggling over paper and batches and secret codes and returning paper and paying more than you need to these days just seems really dumb. It doesn’t take a strong science background to come to that conclusion. 

 

And I’ve never seen an alt process printer whose work I liked that didn’t have a vision and a strong creative eye. 

 

Diana

 

On Mon, Aug 23, 2021 at 7:51 AM Jeremy Moore <alt.photosbyjeremy@...> wrote:

This whole email is just rambling so it definitely won’t help if you’re trying to fix some bad Platine, but I wrote it so I’m sending it anyway 😆

 

I’ve been printing and educating other printers for a couple of decades now and the vast majority of complaints I’ve heard occur when folks working in Alt forget something Judy Siegel beat into my head:

 

Regardless of what I think, my work is fundamentally a “post-factory process”.

 

Being an academic, there’s a whole host of connotations and assumptions for me there, but a quick & dirty definition is while tools and supplies might be found they will not be consistent and/or specific and/or readily available ——Was it Judy that said “if the tools were specific they were ‘spensive!”? I’m going to attribute it to her as she was my queen of repurposing materials for photo 👑

 

So, if I can’t rely on anyone to make anything for me, I have to be prepared to make it work for me, which is why Kerik’s quote below should be applied to any & all purchases used for production:

“I would buy a few sheets from a batch (each batch had an ID) and when I found a good batch I would stock up on that batch number. When it was bad, it was useless for pt/pd.”

 

I can’t really think of any Alt printers I consider my favorites or amongst the best that don’t have a strong background in science and/or academics, so those methods must work!

 

Jeremy@...

 

On Fri, Aug 20, 2021 at 10:30 AM kerik <kerik@...> wrote:

I made my first platinum/palladium print in 1988 or 1989 and I’ve made thousands since. 

 

Arches Platine had been around for awhile when COT320 first came out.  COT320 was sold under the Bergger label in cut sheet sizes like standard photo paper. At one point I special ordered full 22x30 sheets from one of the distributors at that time. It came in a package labeled Bergger COT320. Anyone want to guess what the watermark on the full sheets said??

 

If you guessed Arches Platine, pat yourself on the back. Bergger seems to make labels rather than the actual products it sells. 

 

It is true that Platine has been inconsistent and I haven’t bought any fresh stock in several years now. I have tried and used countless papers over the years. Platine was the first that was designed for pt/pd printing and if my memory serves, I believe Martin Axon was involved with designing the paper with Arches. 

 

Some of the best prints I’ve ever made have been on Platine. When it was good it was great. I would buy a few sheets from a batch (each batch had an ID) and when I found a good batch I would stock up on that batch number. When it was bad, it was useless for pt/pd. 

 

I have been told that COT320 is Platine with a different sizing, but I don’t know that for a fact. When I was one of the beta testers for Hahnemuhle Platinum Rag I emphasized in my review of this wonderful paper, that above all else, it needed to be consistent from batch to batch. That has certainly been the case and it has become my go-to paper from the day it came out. 

 

Another rumor I heard about Platine was that it varied over the course of a year’s production based on the seasonal changes in the chemistry of the water in the river that is the water source for Arches. Again, I have no proof of that, but I’ve heard it from more than one source. 

 

A little history from a guy that’s been around the pt/pd block more than a few times. 

 

Kerik Kouklis 

 

 

--

--


brittonie,
 

Jeremy I particularly like 2 of your points:

It’s totally worth highlighting the potential for global economy to crash our work flows ajd knowing how people are manoeuvring around dodgy batches and finding consistency within those industrial parameters is valuable information. 

Also as you said- to each our own within preferred working methods and within our own budgets. Life is too short. 

I did see a video where Bob tested out uranotypes on different papers and discussed what he saw in them and how the variables were or were not good for his workflow. I found that interesting and helpful. 

If you have a good workflow and like your tools and your process don’t let others bring you down - I’m sure that’s not their intention. 

☺️

On Tue, 24 Aug 2021 at 11:17, Jeremy Moore <alt.photosbyjeremy@...> wrote:
I’m not sure why folks agonize or need to have some special relationship. I contact a supplier, discuss my needs and they send me a few sheets from whatever batch IDs they or their distributor have in stock. I print a few tests in a single afternoon, select a batch ID of paper then place my order. When my batch comes I do some printing. If I there is an issue with it I contact the supplier so they can make it right by returning and refunding or replacing paper or whatever, if that is not possible, I file a complaint with Amex or whomever. 

Is that  a special relationship? It’s how I’ve always managed purchasing for neuroscience equipment labs, silicon manufacturing lines, digital media and art reproduction labs, and gang color, b&w, and alt darkrooms. I discuss potential issues with material makers and suppliers before purchase. If a maker or supplier does not follow through on their end of a contract—in this case, providing a batch of paper for my stated needs—it’s on them. I would have monthly or annual budgets I had to meet and seriously can’t imagine buying materials like how some of y’all describe. Especially as the costs go up! I’ve imported consumables and big ticket, capital items from around the world into the US and just used the same methods.

Bob has made the value call that Platine is not worth the potential outcomes for his budget and expense so he’s paying more, which is awesome. BUT he’s also very vocal that Platine is crap, which is pretty shite, IMO. My work wouldn’t be any better on Cot320, I know because I have made the prints, so Cot320 just costs me more $ and I print less. It also makes me feel like a 2nd-hand citizen here on the Alt List because I use that lowly Arches Platine, but anyone who has been in this game a while knows better work comes out of the process and the artist, not the materials. And that’s why Bob’s VERY VOCAL OPINION about Platine is shite, compared to his opinion, which I do respect 😘

Back to Arches vs Bergger:
You pay more for higher and/or additional quality control and materials, which is what Bergger has always done when rebranding materials produced by others.

Maybe think of Arches Platine as a generic house brand and Cot320 as name brand food or clothing, they’re made in the same factory, but one might source higher-quality raw materials or employ additional quality control technicians or more experienced  machine operators. If I buy a bag of frozen chicken I might get more gristle in the store brand, or in the case of Platine occasional impurities that resulted in black spots I would cut out and spot back. Occasional black spots, like occasional gristle, might be the cost of using cheaper materials in this instance, which is what I document and learn from then move on.

In science labs we would purchase varying grades of purity with regards to chemistry, which folks have probably come across here. Think Knox food gelatin vs. laboratory grade, too. Shoot, you can skip the citric acid and just use 7-up! I once did a whole series using film developed in and printed using materials from the grocery store (well, mostly).

I am absolutely thrilled we have so much support in the industry and there are more affordable high-end papers like Hahnemühle now! This is a very recent and potentially fragile change, though. How much upheaval in the global economy or physical environment is necessary to cause just blips in your ability to source these materials temporarily? How about permanently?

My methods work for me and I get to have fun in my studio while saving a significant amount of $. This is super important for me now on a fixed disability income! Life’s short, find what works for you and make art; leave the frustrations to Bob in his tropical paradise 😉

On Mon, Aug 23, 2021 at 9:43 PM Diana Bloomfield, <dlhbloomfield@...> wrote:
If you’re responding to my earlier post, it wasn’t actually directed to you at all, Kerik.  Rather, it was in direct response to Jeremy Moore’s post - and voicing my own frustrating experiences and money spent on Arches Platine (and other inconsistent papers) over the years. I personally got sick to death of searching for secret codes (anybody remember the Pi symbol underneath the big P in Platine that meant something good??)— and hoping to find good batches of inconsistently produced paper when they appeared.  And, in my 40 years of alt process printing— and for my own purposes— which are equally valid ones— Platine was never “the only game in town.”  

And, yes; “life is short.”  It’s a commonly used phrase. As my mother frequently used to tell me, it’s not always about YOU. lol  

Finally, thanks for yours and Christina’s beta testing for HPR and for insisting on consistency.  



 

On Mon, Aug 23, 2021 at 9:11 PM kerik <kerik@...> wrote:
Just to be clear, the “secret codes” (which were just stickers with a number on them attached to the packaging), is something I dealt with many years ago before HPR, Revere Platinum, Buxton and other purpose-made papers even existed. There were many years when Platine was the only game in town. So the “agonizing” was worth it.  Since HPR came out, at least 95% of my prints and my students’ prints have been made on that paper.

And the last thing I need you to remind me of is that life is short. Duh. 

I was just providing some of my experiences over the 32+ years I’ve been doing this. 

That’s all,
Kerik


On Mon, Aug 23, 2021 at 12:34 PM Diana Bloomfield, <dlhbloomfield@...> wrote:
Well, I can’t see the point in agonizing over a paper— and a relatively expensive one at that— that, for whatever reasons is totally  inconsistent in its production methods— so much so, that you have to rely on batch numbers and/or secret codes, and a reliable distributor who may or may not stock it. And certainly not when there’s at least one consistently reliable, beautiful, versatile, and affordable paper out there (Hahnemuhle/HPR).

I refuse to deal with paper companies— or any other company, for that matter, that can’t get their act together and consistently produce a reliable product. Why would you?  Life is too short. 

So regardless of the science or academic background, struggling over paper and batches and secret codes and returning paper and paying more than you need to these days just seems really dumb. It doesn’t take a strong science background to come to that conclusion. 

And I’ve never seen an alt process printer whose work I liked that didn’t have a vision and a strong creative eye. 

Diana

On Mon, Aug 23, 2021 at 7:51 AM Jeremy Moore <alt.photosbyjeremy@...> wrote:
This whole email is just rambling so it definitely won’t help if you’re trying to fix some bad Platine, but I wrote it so I’m sending it anyway 😆

I’ve been printing and educating other printers for a couple of decades now and the vast majority of complaints I’ve heard occur when folks working in Alt forget something Judy Siegel beat into my head:

Regardless of what I think, my work is fundamentally a “post-factory process”.

Being an academic, there’s a whole host of connotations and assumptions for me there, but a quick & dirty definition is while tools and supplies might be found they will not be consistent and/or specific and/or readily available ——Was it Judy that said “if the tools were specific they were ‘spensive!”? I’m going to attribute it to her as she was my queen of repurposing materials for photo 👑

So, if I can’t rely on anyone to make anything for me, I have to be prepared to make it work for me, which is why Kerik’s quote below should be applied to any & all purchases used for production:
“I would buy a few sheets from a batch (each batch had an ID) and when I found a good batch I would stock up on that batch number. When it was bad, it was useless for pt/pd.”

I can’t really think of any Alt printers I consider my favorites or amongst the best that don’t have a strong background in science and/or academics, so those methods must work!

Jeremy@...

On Fri, Aug 20, 2021 at 10:30 AM kerik <kerik@...> wrote:
I made my first platinum/palladium print in 1988 or 1989 and I’ve made thousands since. 

Arches Platine had been around for awhile when COT320 first came out.  COT320 was sold under the Bergger label in cut sheet sizes like standard photo paper. At one point I special ordered full 22x30 sheets from one of the distributors at that time. It came in a package labeled Bergger COT320. Anyone want to guess what the watermark on the full sheets said??

If you guessed Arches Platine, pat yourself on the back. Bergger seems to make labels rather than the actual products it sells. 

It is true that Platine has been inconsistent and I haven’t bought any fresh stock in several years now. I have tried and used countless papers over the years. Platine was the first that was designed for pt/pd printing and if my memory serves, I believe Martin Axon was involved with designing the paper with Arches. 

Some of the best prints I’ve ever made have been on Platine. When it was good it was great. I would buy a few sheets from a batch (each batch had an ID) and when I found a good batch I would stock up on that batch number. When it was bad, it was useless for pt/pd. 

I have been told that COT320 is Platine with a different sizing, but I don’t know that for a fact. When I was one of the beta testers for Hahnemuhle Platinum Rag I emphasized in my review of this wonderful paper, that above all else, it needed to be consistent from batch to batch. That has certainly been the case and it has become my go-to paper from the day it came out. 

Another rumor I heard about Platine was that it varied over the course of a year’s production based on the seasonal changes in the chemistry of the water in the river that is the water source for Arches. Again, I have no proof of that, but I’ve heard it from more than one source. 

A little history from a guy that’s been around the pt/pd block more than a few times. 

Kerik Kouklis 


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BrittonieFletcher.com