U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: dig negs & gum variables & speaking of "urea"

Re: dig negs & gum variables & speaking of "urea"

On Oct 3, 2006, at 8:36 PM, Judy Seigel wrote:

but I happen to prefer "thiocarbamide," in the same way perhaps that gum printers seem to prefer "bichromate" to the presumably more uptodate "dichromate." I've wondered why in the latter case, perhaps because we like old terms, as we like old processes, but also because they're nicer to say?-- tho we'd need to consult a linguist on that and I seem to digress... Sorry.)
I like it because it's a tip of the hat back to those who came long before us, and because it's the name it's always been known by, and because it rolls off the tongue easily. "Gum dichromate" to my ear smacks of insecurity and pretentiousness. Kind of like when the U.S. Mint put out a new nickel to celebrate the bicentennial of the winter Lewis and Clark spent in my neighborhood. One of the diaries from the expedition exulted, "Ocian in view!" and every school child and every museum curator around here knows that's how it's spelled. But the U.S. Mint spelled it "Ocean in view!" on the nickel, I suppose for fear that if they quoted it authentically, everyone would think that they themselves didn't know how to spell "ocean." We all out here thought it was pretty silly, and that's kind of how I feel when someone calls the process "gum dichromate."

Speaking of which: CHRIS: You have declared that vat-sized paper sinks ! Unh, unh ! Maybe in YOUR studio, but not in mine. In fact I don't think I EVER saw a gum print sink in the wash (my paper & my students' paper having been generally vat-sized).
I gotta agree with Judy; when I used to tub-size paper, it never sank. It was Arches, too. I've never seen a sheet of Arches sink, either tub-sized, brush-sized, or unsized, and I've printed hundreds and hundreds of sheets of the stuff. I won't say that I've never seen a gum print sink in the wash; I have, but that was Japanese paper.

Finally, speaking of sizing, I'm wondering if Alberto's friend who got the mold on her gum print had hardened her gelatin size... The conventional wisdom is that the hardening prevents mold (or so we were taught).
My understanding is that the mold is on the gum itself, and I'm wondering if the gum was completely hardened. I agree; I'd be surprised to see properly hardened gum develop mold. You'd think it would happen here if it would happen anywhere, and I do have paper get moldy sometimes, but I've never had mold develop on a gum print.