Concerns with using Fabriano Artistico with the Mike Ware process as well as the traditional process:
Interestingly I have verified the concerns of a fellow platinum printer, Martin Anthony Battilana, with the traditional and the Mike Ware process. Simply stated, the Fabriano Artistico paper needs to be treated. In his own words he wrote:
“As far as my experience with Frabriano Artistico, I think the paper is beautiful for some uses, but when used with the pt/pd process it isn’t out-of-the-box usable. The paper is well sized and the sizing may contain buffers. This I believe causes some of the pt/pd metals to shed off in developing resulting in a loss of d-max. The obvious way to remedy this is to pre-soak the paper in citric or oxalic acid and dry it. After this treatment the paper now retains all the metals, however the paper becomes much too absorbent during the coating process. So now it becomes necessary to re-size the paper or add pva to the sensitizer.”
Ironically I learned of Fabriano Artistico from another fellow platinum printer who only treats the paper with Oxalic Acid. He doesn’t have any problems with the paper, and I expect that it is not what he KNOWS that we don’t, rather, a technique he uses that we don’t.
- The paper is very absorbent after the oxalic acid treatment.
- The DMax is much lighter than Cranes Crest Natural White when using the traditional process with palladium only.
- There are patching problems (large areas that are lighter than others) which are probably caused by uneven absorption or possibly a chemical reaction.