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THE BRITISH JOURNAL OF PHOTOGRAPHY. August 5, 1864,

THE AMERICAN IVORYTYPE.
[THE CAMERA AND THE PENCIL.]

THIS picture was recently invented and introduced by Wenderoth. It is a coloured photograph, finished so as to resemble a miniature or portrait on ivory.

The mode of making it:--Select a vigorous, clearly-defined impression, with margin enough to allow for mounting upon the painter's stretcher or painting board. Damp the print with a sponge dipped in clear water; then paste its edges upon the stretcher, and with clean paper over its face, rub the print down smoothly. When dry, it will be tight and firm for the artist to operate upon. Or mount it upon a sheet of glass, with its edges ground to hold the paste.

The photograph is now coloured upon the face, as a miniature, with permanent colours; but colours much stronger than those commonly employed on surface-painting, as the manner of mounting the completed pictures upon plate-glass has the effect of lowering the tone of the colours used.

As transparent colours are reduced, or lose considerably in tone by this mode of mounting, they should be painted in much more strongly than for surface-painting; while the body colours should be kept down or reduced in tone, since they are heightened or made more brilliant and vigorous by the manner of mounting.

The coloured print is now mounted on a perfectly clean sheet of plate-glass, face downward, as follows:--Melt bleached, pure white wax, and, while hot, pour it upon the glass plate, which is also made and kept hot on a steel or iron plate, or a soapstone slab, under which one or two spirit-lamps are continuously burning. While the wax is quite liquid take the print by the ends, spring it in the middle, and lower it gently into the heated wax, carefully pressing from the middle outward both parts of it down into the wax, and then with a straight-edged paper-folder, of ivory or bone, or some similar article suited to the purpose, press and work out all the air-bubbles and superfluous wax. This operation must, of course, be executed while the plate is quite warm.

The paper-folder should be carefully rubbed from one extremity of the print to the other without lifting it therefrom or suspending the process, as a mark would thus be left on the picture, which will be thoroughly saturated with wax, and which, if properly handled, will be transparent, smooth, and beautiful.

Some artists use a compound of one part gum dammar to eight parts wax; or Canada balsam and wax; or gum elmer and wax; same proportion of one to eight parts of wax. Others use a larger proportion of the gum-varnishes.

Finally the picture is finished by placing upon its back and firmly sealing to the glass a clean sheet of white paper or cardboard, with a cardboard border or mat between the picture and the paper, and with small lumps of hard wax stuck upon the dark or opaque parts of the picture, so arranged as to keep them about one-sixteenth or one-twentieth of an inch asunder. This distance must be determined by effect or appearance produced, and regulated by the judgment of the artist, when the picture is ready for the frame. Sometimes a duplicate tinted print of the face is placed behind to give more colour vigour.

To produce this picture in its perfection requires the highest degree of artistic skill.


See: THE TOOVYTYPE: OR: IVORYTYPE.


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