U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: AtAttn Dick + All. re Clarification of Woodburytype,Photo Polymer

Re: AtAttn Dick + All. re Clarification of Woodburytype,Photo Polymer and Carbon Transfer.

Aniere was using the photopolymer to make both the matrix and the printing plate. The polymer was used to get a relief instead of the gelatin. He was not using as it was intended. And from this he made some prints directly from the polymer plate. No press was involved. BTW, Aniere is a great cook! (Ok, he's French, so that must be it!)

Woodbury was used primarily as a commercial photomechanical process. One could make 20 impressions from a gelatin matrix in lead and solder them up gang-wise to make a sheet of 20 4x5 on a 20x25 inch sheet and then cut them apart for tipping into books. My guess it was far too expensive a process to survive needing the press and all. Tipping in was not economical and other halftone processes were invented that allowed printing on the same page along with the type.

At issue though, is the fact that photomechanical is neither fish not fowl and seems to get ignored by photo historians because it's not "photography." Printmakers and their historians ignore it because it is "photography" and not really "art." I have book I am going to scan and republish in facsimile format called Horgan on Halftone (c. 1905) which is falling apart (all copies I seen are disentigrating and besides are also quite rare) since it was printed on awful wood pulp paper. It documents a dozen or more photomechanical processes which have since died out because they would not print more than a couple of thousand copies, however, enough for an artistic process. The descriptions of the process are terse and brief so some re-invention is needed. I am calling this my Dead Sea project.


John Grocott wrote:
*Dick, *
*From what you say, here, it looks as if it may be possible to equate Woodburytype, which uses a liquid pigmented gelatine , pressed into a mould, and confuse it with Photopolymer Gravure, which makes the print with etching ink being rolled by an etching press from a plate such as Toyoba onto the support paper. The two processes seem to be widely different. Woodburytype appears to be more similar in its results and appearance to Carbon Transfer. The process is vastly different.*
** * Did you mean that Gerard may have been trying to press liquid pigmented gelatine from the Photopolymer plate onto the support paper, or what ? *
* *
* Then, would you classify Carbon Transfer as a photomechanical process ? Apparently, Woodburytype was used mainly for mass commercial reproduction publications.*
** *I am contacting Gerard Aniere, who I know personally, to check whether what you surmise has any substance. I could never imagine that Metro would have invested in something like a Woodburytype press which pressed the gelatine pigment into a lead mould which then squashes/ transfers the gelatine pigment from the mould to a paper support. *
** * The enormous pressure from the press was in the forming of the mould and not in the transfering of the gelatine pigment to the paper. *
*_From the 1890 encyclopaedia :-_*
** *'' A photomechanical process of extreme beauty standing appart from all other photo-mechanical processes, from the fact that it is the only one which faithfully reproduces the half-tones of the picture. Notwithstanding the fact that many unscrupulous persons have laid claim to the invention of this process, it is undoubtedly the outcome of the inventive genius of the late W.B.Woodbury, and to which he gave his name. No one, on reading the description of this process and its apparent simplicity, could imagine the ammmount of time or labour spent on its perfection by the inventor, who has been rightly termed *
*'' The Caxton of Photography''.*
** *The Woodburytype, although much worked in this and other countries, is most confined to a few firms, owing, probably, to the considerable expense required in the purchase of the necessary plant. For this reason Woodbury devised a simple process, very similar, which he called the Stannotype, but owing to the usual mismanagement of a limited company formed to work it, it did not meet with the success it deserved.''*
** * _STANNOTYPE _( Latin. stannum - tin and English - type )*
*This process may be termed a simplified Woodbury process. On reference to a description of the latter , it will be found that one of the principal requirements is a costly hydrolic press, with which to form the printing mould by pressing the gelatine relief into the lead surface.*
* The object of the STANNOTYPE process was to do away with this costly machinery, and bring the process within the reach of all. A careful consideration of the principles involved in the Woodbury process will show that if a gelatine relief were produced from a positive instead of a negative, this relief would serve as the printing mould in the same manner as the impressed lead, were it not for one serious drawback, and that is, that being of gelatine it would be destroyed when it received the necessary wetting.*
* This drawback was overcome by Woodbury after a long course of labourious experiments by a most simple expedient. It was simply by protecting the relief by a sheet of tinfoil, pressed well into contact with it.*
** *----- Original Message ----- *
*From: "Richard Sullivan" <**richsul@earthlink.net* <mailto:richsul@earthlink.net>*>*
*To: <**alt-photo-process-l@usask.ca* <mailto:alt-photo-process-l@usask.ca>*>*
*Sent: Tuesday, May 29, 2007 3:45 PM*
*Subject: Re: The Woodburytype and Stannotype Processes*

*>I believe it was the Gerard Aniere who was working with the Woodbury. He
> worked with William Ingram at Metro in London. Metro was a big graphics
> firm and set up a shop in the basement for mostly platinum printing. If
> I remember he was using photopolymer plates as a both a matrix and
> printing plate. His results were intriguing but I think he had gone as
> far as the material would take him.*
* Barret Oliver's book may offer some way of making the Woodbury process even more available than Stannotype was.*
** * Regards*
*John - Photographist - London - UK*

* *