Re: Newbie Gum fun Continued
Perhaps I wasn't clear in communicating my experience with Arches paper before. There are two issues: (1) in my experience, Arches paper as now formulated can't be printed unsized because of speckles. If you got a good result by shrinking it with boiling water and printing unsized, that's interesting, and inconsistent with what I've seen before. The rule with gum is, use whatever works; if boiling water works for you, go for it. My experience has been that treating with very hot water just messes with the internal gelatin size, but that's the thing about gum, we often get contradicting observations. (2) When sized, my experience is that the sizing for Arches should be kept below 140 or I get speckles in the sized paper, but as people are always saying, your mileage may vary. I harden with glyoxal.
About your problem with incomplete contact, it may not be that the glass isn't heavy enough; your problem may be on the back side of the paper. When I first started printing gum, I had the same problem; I had a piece of smooth wood on one side of the paper and a piece of plate glass holding the paper to the wood, but I had areas in the print where it was obvious there was inconsistent contact. I got some interfacing from the fabric store, sort of a webby stuff, but foam rubber or something similar would probably work as well, to place between the wood and the back of the paper, and that's all I've used ever since to get good contact. It holds the paper securely against the glass.
Two pea-sized pieces of lamp black in how much gum? What brand of lamp black? I might be inclined to guess just on general principles that you may be using too much pigment, only because in my experience beginners almost always use too much lamp black to start. Lamp black is a very powerful pigment; a little goes a long ways. Try cutting your lamp black by half by adding more gum; if you still get a dark black where you want a dark black but no staining, then the staining was probably due to too much pigment rather than insufficient sizing. I've got an example on my website that shows the difference between way too much lamp black and half that much, if you want to compare what you're observing:
I coat paper in daylight or under a 60-watt tungsten light with no problem; a safelight isn't necessary. Just don't do it in direct sun.
On Apr 23, 2007, at 9:17 AM, Jacek Gonsalves wrote: