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

Re: Powdered pigments?

From 1850's on, there were three forms of pigments used and everyone swore by their own form: powdered, tube, and pans. Pans and powders were used mostly before tubes. The original gum process used powder. Demachy used tubes so perhaps he was responsible for the trend toward the tube preference, but I would say today that tubes are most preferred and powder second. In Demachy's day, the reigning thought was that the tube contained various fillers that would interfere with the gum process. Maybe that was true back then--that they used different fillers than today--but I have never had a problem with a tube pigment and I've used about 8 different brands.

Not many use pans, but that doesn't mean they don't work. If you already own pans, use them. If not, buy tubes. Powdered pigments are wonderful, too, but for my practice a bit messy. They are super concentrated though, which has its benefits--especially with carbon black.

When pans were used, they were liquified in water first before use and made into what they called a "cream". I haven't used them because I haven't owned pan watercolors since I was 9 years old taking a watercolor class.
----- Original Message ----- From: "Jacek" <gonsaj@iinet.net.au>
To: <alt-photo-process-l@usask.ca>
Sent: Friday, April 13, 2007 3:14 AM
Subject: Re: Powdered pigments?

Hey all,
Thanks guys for the info. Yeah I was just curious if it were at all possible to use the pan's in the first place. I'll stick to the tubes for now and play around later with the pans.

One idea I did have was to use the Australian environment, plants, rocks/sand to makes pigments, as there are a few courses taught here on how to make dyes and pigments from just that. So I made a parallel with the pans, wondering if anyone delved into using it for gum printing, as I couldnt find any info out on the net. So ultimately the Australian bush/environment would be part of the actual print.
Perhaps i'm dreaming, and as my old man says, I should really walk before running :)