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Thread: printing on glass

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Oaklyn, New Jersey

    printing on glass

    I would like to combine my two passions. Photography and stained glass. Just need to find out how to print on glass, or create a negative on glass. Any advise is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  2. #2
    multi format
    Join Date
    Feb 2001

    Re: printing on glass

    hi there

    there are a few different ways to get images on glass.
    i haven't made ambrotypes or wet plate images, but i have made dry plates ...
    clean the glass well ( washing soda + straight stop bath afterwards until water sheets off )
    and bind the glass with a layer of gelatin with hardener mixed in.
    after it has been dried, you can coat the plates with liquid emulsion like liquid light,
    black cat, or formulite. depending on the liquid emulsion you use your "plate speed"
    will vary. the photographer's formulary sells both the liquid emulsion as well as the
    hardener and gelatin. i have made plates using regular olde knox gelatin and liquid light and
    gotten nice results ... the plates are exposed ( they are ortho like photo paper )
    and processed under a red light like paper as well ...

    several years ago i dug around and found a website that listed a whole bunch of different ways to print photo images on things.
    it also listed making glass "sun prints" ...

    Clean the surface. Then apply the following binder:

    to the whites of two eggs add
    ammonium chloride 29 grains, dissolved in
    wood alcohol 1 dram
    water 1/2 ounce

    Beat this mixture to a froth, then allow to settle. Filter and apply to surface. Allow to dry. When dry, repeat the process.

    Sensitize by weak artificial light, with
    silver nitrate 40 grains
    water 1 ounce
    When dry, hold over bottle of ammonia to permit fumes to cover the surface. Print, as usual, by sunlight. Fix in 10% hypo solution, wash.

    godo luck!

    enjoy your coffee

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Mar 2005

    Re: printing on glass

    A few years back I was fooling around with Polaroid transfers and got some nice results with emulsion transfers onto glass.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    May 2006

    Re: printing on glass

    There's a great primer on making your own photographic emulsion available at

  5. #5
    at your service
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Port Hueneme CA

    Re: printing on glass

    That egg process sounds a lot like a Albumen process. I got the stuff for it and never tried it. (too many irons in the fire I guess) I was thinking egg whites would stick like crazy glue to anything. :
    Got this from a website on the history of albumen printing:
    The effect of adding chlorides and acids, such as acetic acid, and finally beating the egg white is to completely and irreversibly change it. After settling for 24 hours and aging in a refrigerator for one week it is a yellowish homogeneous liquid with a slight "aged" odor that signals its readiness for use.

    A sample preparation of albumen might be as follows:
    Ammonium chloride 15 g combine and add to;
    Glacial acetic acid 2 ml
    Water 30 ml
    Albumen 1 liter

    The mixture should be beaten in an electric mixer or blender for 3 minutes, or until the entire mixture has been converted to a froth. Allow the mixture to settle in a covered container for 24 hours. Strain the mixture through muslin; the liquid may have to be squeezed through the muslin with some pressure. Cover and refrigerate for one week. The albumen solution will remain useful for several weeks after the one-week aging period.

    The final step was to add 15% Silver Nitrate/Water solution with a brush - and use it like paper -
    My photos are always without all that distracting color

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    New York City

    Re: printing on glass

    What will happen to these completed albumen glass plate photos if they are left in the sun? Do they fade? If they are to be used as parts of a larger window this might be an issue.

    If you're looking to permanently affix photos to glass you're looking at using photo silk screens and enamels or sandblasting the photos into glass using photo resist.

  7. #7
    at your service
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Port Hueneme CA

    Re: printing on glass

    civil war prints are still around and look good - I do not know how the egg will hold up in heat and cold
    My photos are always without all that distracting color

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