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The first day in the Chemistry lab at Hull University with Dr Mark Lorch gave us some interesting, really unexpected but fabulous results and a way forward. By firstly experimenting with Tollen’s Agent (a silver based solution that is used traditionally in making mirrors/christmas tree baubles) over digital, glossy inkjet prints. This initially created a dark orange based ‘test-strip’ so some adjustment to times and a few more tests showed how the base material of this chemical stripped the coating from the print and then the silvering got to work.

When we tried with a full size print in Tollen’s solution, after an experimental diversion into droplets of ammonia and a couple of different acids, a pretty incredible thing happened.

When the solution was poured from the print to be washed off, there was an image on the back, but not an image that could have come from the front! There appeared an image transfer from a print stored underneath now coated in a metallic silver on the reverse of the print. Awesome!!!

Next week I will be in the lab again trying to replicate and formalise this new technique from experimentation. Reverse Silver Printing!  Exciting times ahead!