Friday, June 11, 2010
Tea Staining Archivally
So, I've had real issues putting nice clean archival paper into tea and making it acidic just for the wonderful effect of my making it look old. This was the end of my trial process in trying to figure out how to do it archivally. At first, I tried using my archival printing inks. I mixed (a TON!) of ink trying to get the color right. The color always looked nice on the glass and in the pan when I mixed it with ph neutral water, BUT when I dipped the paper in and baked it, it would always have way too much blue. It also didn't give the same effect as the tea. So, I scoured the internet again looking for information and I talked with Daniel about it. He's been looking into archival papers lately because he's been doing illustrations for kids. I learned a few things from talking with him and I came to understand how to go about making archival tea stained paper. Because our environment is naturally acidic, 7-8.5 on the pH scale is considered archival. Overtime things in the environment will pick up the acidity and become less alkaline. Some papers are buffered with Sodium Bicarbonate for this very reason. So...I tried adding a little sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) to my tea/water mixture and tested it to make sure it was archival. Voila! Tea stained pages with a neutral to alkaline pH. I'll get a tutorial up of this soon.