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Thread: Toning with tea

  1. #1

    Toning with tea

    Hi All, For quite a long time, I was looking for a brown toner that could provide the sa me tone as very olds albumen prints, unsuccessfully! Yesterday, I tried Tea...and it works great! The border is toned too, so the pri nt looks like an old one (FB paper, of course). Aesthetic is great, but what's about longevity? does the tea attack the image? a nybody has an experience? any feedback would be great!! Regards

  2. #2
    the Docter is in Arne Croell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1997
    Huntsville, AL

    Toning with tea

    It should be pretty stable. I have done it, too, as long as twenty years ago, and the color is still there. Just think about how hard it is to remove tea stains from fabrics.... Tea actually is not a toner in the sense that it alters the color of the image-forming silver, like a sulfide toner does, but it is adiscoloration of the base (paper and gelatin coating). The black silver image is unaffected.

  3. #3

    Toning with tea

    I do not have experiance using it like the other two posters, but according to professors that I had at the art institute of boston, they all said that it is not archival. But hey, who cares. Print it again in 25 years if it starts to look a little gloomy.

  4. #4

    Toning with tea

    Sally Mann tones with tea. Coffee works, too, as I discovered when my brother spilled an extra-large cup of it all over a table where I had 30 of my 8x10 prints spread out. He managed to hit every print!

    I've tried tea a few times. The best kind to use are the cheap, garden-variety black teas, as they have the most tannin.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 1999

    Toning with tea

    At a workshop a few years ago Jay Dusard demonstrated tea toning using simple bags of instant tea (he joked that Tetley was the photographer's tea de jour!). Anyways, the process worked quite well. An added feature is that tea, unlike some toners, possesses few toxic and environmentally harmful ingredients. Try drinking Selenium toner sometime.

    Asked whether or ot the process was archival Dusard or his co-teacher Michael Schultz pointed to oriental papers toned with tea that had lasted a few thousand years.

    Seriously, the process is well worth an afternoon's experiment. Bob

  6. #6

    Toning with tea

    Thank you for your contribution, as usual, this forum is very helpful for any concern one may have! Regards.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Redondo Beach

    Toning with tea

    Is Black tea something that is marked on the package? Or is just marked tea? Is instant coffee going to work? or are we talking about percolating?
    Jonathan Brewer

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    San Joaquin Valley, California

    Toning with tea

    FWIW, I've had spilled coffee take the little blue lines right off ordinary binder paper. It was pretty bad coffee though!
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  9. #9

    Toning with tea


    I don't think it usually says black tea. Any cheapo regular tea is good - Tetley, Master Choice, Milford, Lipton. It doesn't work on RC paper. Couldn't tell ya about the coffee. Get in there and experiment!


  10. #10

    Join Date
    Feb 2002

    Toning with tea

    Try also some green tea , good one . fresly brewed, and tone your paper with it! Also try different dilutions , mix it with coffe, experiment, have fun , and remember that tea usually lowers the conrtrast of the image, so print accordingly. It is a great medium...

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