Ammonium Bromide


(Dutch-Ammoniumbromide  German-Ammoniumbromid  French -le bromure d’ammonium   Spanish-bromuro de amonio)

IUPAC Name: azanium bromide

Ammonium bromide, NH4Br, is the ammonium salt of hydrobromic acid. The chemical crystallizes in colorless prisms, possessing a saline taste; it sublimes on heating and is easily soluble in water. On exposure to air it gradually assumes a yellow color because of the oxidation of traces of bromide (Br) to bromine (Br2). Used in photography and for pharmaceutical preparations (sedatives).



Cadmium Bromide


(Dutch-cadmium bromide;  French – le bromure de cadmium; German- Cadmium Bromid; Spanish- bromuro de cadmio)

IUPAC Name: dibromocadmium

Cadmium bromide is a yellow or cream-coloured crystalline ionic cadmium salt of hydrobromic acid that is soluble in water and alcohol. It is very toxic, along with other cadmium compounds. It is used in photography, process engraving, and lithography.


Calcium Carbonate

(Dutch – Calcium Carbonate; German – )


As we’ll use this stuff to clean our plates, we won’t need a vast quantity of it, as we’ll make a batch of cleaner to last us a while. It took a little effort to get the powder, but at I found it and paid € 6,00 for 1 kg.



Distilled water


(Dutch – gedestilleerd water  German – destilliertem Wasser   French – l’eau distillée   Spanish – agua destilada  )

water that has been treated by boiling and condensation to remove solids, inorganics, and some organic chemicals.

Cheap and easy to find at most supermarkets in Europe, pharmacies and petrol stations, one liter should not cost you more than € 0,50. In the UK, I found myself forced to order online as no supermarket or hardware shop seems to carry distilled water, only de-ionised. I paid £16.04 for a 25 liter barrel (+£5.50 for a tap to go with it, and +£12.75 in shipping) at





(Dutch-ether  German-Äther  French – l’éther  Spanish- éter  )

IUPAC Name: oxidane

Ethers (pron.: /?i???r/) are a class of organic compounds that contain an ether group — an oxygen atom connected to two alkyl or aryl groups — of general formula R–O–R’.A typical example is the solvent and anesthetic diethyl ether, commonly referred to simply as “ether” (CH3-CH2-O-CH2-CH3). Ethers are common in organic chemistry and pervasive in biochemistry, as they are common linkages in carbohydrates and lignin.



Ferrous sulfate


(Dutch- ijzer sulfaat, groene vitriool  German-Eisensulfat  French -sulfate ferreux   Spanish- sulfato ferroso)

IUPAC Name: iron; sulfuric acid

Iron(II) sulfate (Br.E. iron(II) sulphate) or ferrous sulfate is the chemical compound with the formula FeSO4. It is used medically to treat iron deficiency, and also for industrial applications. Known since ancient times as copperas and as green vitriol, the blue-green heptahydrate is the most common form of this material. All iron sulfates dissolve in water to give the same aquo complex [Fe(H2O)6]2+, which has octahedral molecular geometry and is paramagnetic.

I bought this as IJzer(II)sulfaat from, which set me back € 5,00 for 250 grams
In the UK I got it from, for a mere £2.10 for 500 grams



Glacial acetic acid (Crystals)


(Dutch-azijnzuur (ijsazijn)  German-Eisessig  French – l’acide acétique glacial   Spanish-ácido acético glacial )

IUPAC Name: acetic acid

Acetic acid pron.: /??si?t?k/ (systematically named ethanoic acid pron.: /?????no??k/) is an organic compound with the chemical formula CH3CO2H (also written as CH3COOH or C2H4O2). It is a colourless liquid that when undiluted is also called glacial acetic acid. Acetic acid is the main component of vinegar (apart from water; vinegar is roughly 8% acetic acid by volume), and has a distinctive sour taste and pungent smell. Besides its production as household vinegar, it is mainly produced as a precursor to polyvinylacetate and cellulose acetate. Although it is classified as a weak acid, concentrated acetic acid is corrosive and attacks the skin.

Acetic acid is one of the simplest carboxylic acids. It is an important chemical reagent and industrial chemical, mainly used in the production of cellulose acetate mainly for photographic film and polyvinyl acetate for wood glue, as well as synthetic fibres and fabrics. In households, diluted acetic acid is often used in descaling agents. In the food industry, acetic acid is used under the food additive code E260 as an acidity regulator and as a condiment. As a food additive it is approved for usage in the EU,[6] USA[7] and Australia and New Zealand.[8]

The global demand of acetic acid is around 6.5 million tonnes per year (Mt/a), of which approximately 1.5 Mt/a is met by recycling; the remainder is manufactured from petrochemical feedstock. As a chemical reagent, biological sources of acetic acid are of interest but generally uncompetitive. Vinegar is dilute acetic acid, often produced by fermentation and subsequent oxidation of ethanol.

I have been having some trouble finding this as glacial acetic acid, but it can be ordered online. Prices vary widely but should come between €6,00 and €20,00 for 1 liter.



Grain alcohol 190 proof (or substitute: denatured alcohol)


(Dutch – spiritus  German- Weingeist/ Brennspiritus  French – alcool dénaturé   Spanish-alcohol desnaturalizado)

IUPAC Name: ethanol

Denatured alcohol or methylated spirits is ethanol that has additives to make it undrinkable (poisonous, extremely bad tasting, foul smelling or nauseating), to discourage recreational consumption. In some cases it is also dyed.

Denatured alcohol is used as a solvent and as fuel for spirit burners and camping stoves. Because of the diversity of industrial uses for denatured alcohol, hundreds of additives and denaturing methods have been used. The main additive has traditionally been 10% methanol, giving rise to the term “methylated spirits”. Other typical additives include isopropyl alcohol, acetone, methyl ethyl ketone, methyl isobutyl ketone, and denatonium.

Denaturing alcohol does not chemically alter the ethanol molecule. Rather, the ethanol is mixed with other chemicals to form an undrinkable solution.

Different additives are used to make it difficult to use distillation or other simple processes to reverse the denaturation. Methanol is commonly used both because its boiling point is close to that of ethanol and because it is toxic. In many countries, it is also required that denatured alcohol be dyed blue or purple with an aniline dye.

Grain alcohol itself might be very difficult or even impossible to obtain in some places due to law surrounding alcohol possession/ selling.


Even though I found this described online as ‘spiritus’, something about the way this is normally sold with a blue coloring put me off. I managed to find it in Germany however, as a normal supermarket as ‘Spiritus’, with 94% Ethanol and no colourings added for under € 2,00. Currently in the UK, I have tried both denatured alcohol (purple coloured, at any hardware store at roughly £2.00 – £2.50 for 500 ml) and surgical spirit. Although both alcohol variants work within the Poe boy formula, the surgical spirit seems to dry very rapidly and set with loads of crepe lines. Only use this is you have no other option, or would like to get lines on your plate!



Gum Sandarac (or Sandarac Gum)


(Dutch-Sanderac hars  German-Sandarak Kaugummi  French -la gomme de sandaraque   Spanish-goma sandáraca  )

Sandarac (or sandarach) is a resin obtained from the small cypress-like tree Tetraclinis articulata. The tree is native to the northwest of Africa with a notable presence in the Southern Morocco part of the Atlas mountains. The resin exudes naturally on the stems of the tree. It is also obtained by making cuts on the bark. It solidifies when exposed to the air. It comes to commerce in the form of small solid chips, translucent, and having a delicate yellow tinge. Morocco has been the main place of origin of sandarac. A similar resin is obtained in southern Australia from some species of the Australian cypress-like trees Callitris, but the resin has not been systematically collected in Australia.

Historically, especially in the Late Medieval and Renaissance era, sandarac was used to make varnish. When “varnish” was spoken of in Renaissance Italy (Italian vernice) it usually meant sandarac. Copal and other resins displaced it as equally good, less expensive varnishing materials. Nevertheless the sandarac varnish is still valued today for use as a protective coating on paintings and antiques. It gives a coat which is hard, lustrous and durable. The varnish is made by melting the resin and mixing it with (e.g.) linseed oil (or, in our case, Lavender oil). Sandarac resin melts at about 150°C. to a colorless or slightly yellow liquid.

Ordered from; €6,50 for 50 grams

Lavender Oil NF


(Dutch – Lavendel Olie   German – Lavendelöl   French – huile de lavande   Spanish – aceite de lavanda )

Lavender oil is an essential oil obtained by distillation from the flower spikes of certain species of lavender. Two forms are distinguished, lavender flower oil, a colorless oil, insoluble in water, having a density of 0.885 g/mL; and lavender spike oil, a distillate from the herb Lavandula latifolia, having density 0.905 g/mL. NF means National Formulary, I thought it might mean non-food or even non-fat, but apparently not so .

Now, I am a little unsure whether or not I have bought the right kind of stuff – but I got it from and paid €15,00 for 50 ml. It seems to do the trick!



Potassium Iodide


(Dutch- Kalium Jodide  German-Kaliumjodid   French -iodure de potassium   Spanish-yoduro de potasio)

IUPAC Name: potassium iodide

Potassium iodide is an inorganic compound with the chemical formula KI. This white salt is the most commercially significant iodide compound, with approximately 37,000 tons produced in 1985. It is less hygroscopic (absorbs water less readily) than sodium iodide, making it easier to work with. Aged and impure samples are yellow because of aerial oxidation of the iodide to elemental iodine. Potassium iodide is a mild irritant and should be handled with gloves. Chronic overexposure can have adverse effects on the thyroid. chemical used in bleaches, toners and intensifiers.


Again bought at for which I paid € 18.00 for 50 grams



Potassium Bromide


(Dutch- Kaliumbromide   German- Kaliumbromid   French – le bromure de potassium    Spanish- bromuro de potasio)

IUPAC Name: potassium bromide

Potassium bromide (KBr) is a salt, widely used as an anticonvulsant and a sedative in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with over-the-counter use extending to 1975 in the US. Its action is due to the bromide ion (sodium bromide is equally effective). Potassium bromide is used as a veterinary drug, as an antiepileptic medication for dogs and cats.

Under standard conditions, potassium bromide is a white crystalline powder. It is freely soluble in water. In a dilute aqueous solution, potassium bromide tastes sweet, at higher concentrations it tastes bitter, and at even higher concentrations it tastes salty. These effects are mainly due to the properties of the potassium ion—sodium bromide tastes salty at any concentration. In high concentration, potassium bromide strongly irritates the gastric mucous membrane, causing nausea and sometimes vomiting (a typical effect of all soluble potassium salts). chemical used as a restrainer in most developing solutions and as a rehalogenizing agent in bleaches.

In addition to manufacture of silver bromide, potassium bromide is used as a restrainer in black and white developer formulas. It improves differentiation between exposed and unexposed crystals of silver halide, and thus reduces fog.


At the – € 6,00 for 50 grams



Plain collodion USP (Not the flexible collodion)


(Dutch- collodium/ kollodium  German- kollodium  French – ?  Spanish – ?  )



Collodion is a flammable, syrupy solution of pyroxylin (a.k.a. “nitrocellulose”, “cellulose nitrate”, “flash paper”, and “gun cotton”) in ether and alcohol. There are two basic types; flexible and non-flexible. The flexible type is often used as a surgical dressing or to hold dressings in place. When painted on the skin, collodion dries to form a flexible nitrocellulose film. While it is initially colorless, it discolors over time. Non-flexible collodion is often used in theatrical make-up.

This stuff was hard to find, but I ordered it eventually from Assink Chemie – and it set me back a whopping € 94,86 for 1 liter! I ordered 2 liters to avoid the €30 delivery charge.

Other places you might try to find this stuff in the EU: ( €113.85/ 1 liter – 3 weeks delivery time) (€14,50 / 30ml)



Silver nitrate


(Dutch-zilvernitraat    German-Silbernitrat    French -nitrate d’ argent    Spanish- nitrato de plata )

IUPAC Name: silver nitrate

Silver nitrate is an inorganic compound with chemical formula AgNO3. This compound is a versatile precursor to many other silver compounds, such as those used in photography. It is far less sensitive to light than the halides. It was once called lunar caustic because silver was called luna by the ancient alchemists, who believed that silver was associated with the moon. The crystals are colourless and dissolve easily in water. If the water is pure, the solution can be kept indefinate, even in light. Silvernitrate stains – but stains on fabric can be removed with a solution of 10% iodide, leave for a few minutes (it will turn blue/ black), wash in a strong fix, then with lots of water.


Silver nitrate has become very expensive in the last few years so it seems – and the cheapest I could find was by ordering it from Poland via I paid £102 for 100 grams to have it shipped to the Netherlands.

I will be looking into making my own Silver Nitrate in the future if this price hike continues.



Sodium Thiosulfate (crystals)


(Dutch- natrium thiosulfaat  German-Natriumthiosulfat  French -thiosulfate de sodium   Spanish-tiosulfato de sodio  )

Sodium thiosulfate (Na2S2O3), also spelled sodium thiosulphate, is a colorless crystalline compound that is more familiar as the pentahydrate, Na2S2O3·5H2O, an efflorescent, monoclinic crystalline substance also called sodium hyposulfite or “hypo.”


This stuff was by far the easiest to get at as it only set me back € 20,00 for 5 kg. Yes, Kilos, it’s not a type-o!




——–  (overview of places where you might buy it, per chemical)