waxing paper negatives revisited

If you have been here before you might have read a post I made a long while ago where I described how to wax paper negatives (https://www.nanianphoto.com/blog/how-you-make-waxed-paper-negatives/ ) .. I link to a you tube video and show some images at the end but I don’t really show any of the waxing. Today you are going to see a few photographs from the other day where I waxed maybe 30 images.

The first thing I do is I get my block of paraffin wax, I use the stuff that says “gulf wax” on it, usually available at any grocery store. It is box and it has maybe 4 or 5 rectangles of wax, usually used by people who do canning and putting jam and jelly in jars. The second thing I do is I put a metal stool with a hot plate on it in the driveway and a small cheap metal tin on top of it. I put it outside mainly because this can be an operation with fumes.

cheap rectangular tin
tray / pan on hot plate in driveway pan is used for melting of wax

I take the wax and I melt it in the pan and make a nice puddle, it’s not hard to see the puddle, low heat works best, it won’t smoke when it’s low heat. I take a sheet of paper, thin paper, thicker paper, and I put it in the tray and it gets coated, I drag the paper through one side then the other until it is completely coated.

waxing a negative
a little liquid wax on a lot of paper
flipping paper over
one whole side waxed, turning paper over to do the other side
all of paper waxed
finishing up

I when I do this sometimes when there isn’t enough wax in the pan I use the brick of wax and rub it on the paper to touch up areas that might need a little more help. You can not take the hot plate off, and put a clean hot plate on with a sheet of clean untextured paper and rub and remove some of the excess wax if there are drips and marks they might show up in your prints.

I made this photograph after I waxed this negative.

rectangular print
photograph of waxed pages
cyanotype from waxed negative, exposed many hours in direct sun

Author: jnanian

I am a Freelance Photographer in Rhode Island. I make photographs using a variety of methods with and without a camera. I make photo emulsions from scratch, I coat my own photo paper and make cyanotypes too. I am a huge fan of Caffenol, and instead of instant coffee, I roast my own beans and sell them. I also sell silver recovery products.