U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: Powdered pigments?

Re: Powdered pigments?

Actually, Jacek, many folks (myself included) find powdered pigments for gum a PITA, and certainly not necessary... (not to mention possible health hazard, as in breathing). Generally speaking also, you get smoother tones if you use tube paint, or paint from the "pan" which has already been smoothene, ie, well mixed into the gum arablic.

If you can, flip the lozenge of paint out of the pan, or cut the pan from around it, immerse in small am't water til it's soft, and mix to taste with gum, + water if needed. If the pan paint is cheap, odds are it has either fillers or emusifiers or surfactants, which can screw up the printing... but if you're not needing them for anything else, a good way as any (maybe) to practice.

Contrary to popular belief, BTW, the "grinding" of dry pigment with gum does NOT make the particles smaller -- they're already ground finer than fine at the factory nowadays. What that "grinding" does is more fully surround the pigment grains with gum, that is, make the clumps smaller, which gives smoother, less grainy, tones.

OTOH, the "grainy" effect can be good too... There is no one method, esthetic, or type of gum print.


On Thu, 12 Apr 2007, Jacek wrote:

Hi all,

I'm about to undertake Gum printing. I was wondering if it were possible to use the Pan blocks that are sold by Windsor and Newton instead of using their 15ml tubes? What do I need to do to the pan block to make it a powdered pigment and use it for gum printing? I presume just grinding the block into powder and mixing part of it with the gum, then mixing it with the dichromate is NOT the way to go?
Well any info would be gladly appreciated :)
Jacek Gonsalves
Western Australia