U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: Gum Bichromate Print Clearing Question

Re: Gum Bichromate Print Clearing Question

I mostly agree with Marek. I clear only on the rare occasion when there is visible stain, and I clear only til the stain is gone; it could be as little as 30 seconds or a minute. I clear with the print face up in the tray so it's easy to tell when the stain disappears. I don't agitate the print in the clearing bath, because I use a tray just barely bigger than the print, using as little bisulfite as necessary to just cover the print (less fumes that way) but I do tend to swish the paper around in the after-rinse, which is always in an ample tub of water.

On Aug 8, 2007, at 6:47 AM, Marek Matusz wrote:


Most discussion on the subject is wheter people get stain or not and whether it is visible with their pigment mixture / practice. Most agree that clearing with metabisulfite is effective. I get some stain which is clearly visible with transparent colours. My clearing practice is to use dry prints (at least a day, but could be dried for months since I clear in batches), soak in water and then soak it in clearing solution. Your timing guidelines agree with my practice. Soak the print in water after that for another 15-30 minutes to wash clearing solution off.

Marek Matusz

From: Judy Seigel <jseigel@panix.com>
Reply-To: alt-photo-process-l@usask.ca
To: alt-photo-process-l@usask.ca
Subject: Re: Gum Bichromate Print Clearing Question
Date: Wed, 08 Aug 2007 00:11:29 -0400 (EDT)
>On Tue, 7 Aug 2007, Bruce Campbell wrote:
>>Hi list.
>> I am just beginning to make some gum prints and have a question
>>concerning print clearing.
>> I know some folks clear their prints in either a 1% up to 5%
>>solution of potassium metabisulphite for 2 to 5 minutes. My
>>question is, do you agitate your print while its in this solution
>>or do you just let it soak.
>Hi Bruce, My experience is that in gum clearing, as in life, it
>never hurts to agitate a little, though gently is quite sufficient,
>in gum anyway. I myself however, rather than do it strictly by
>time, would do it by eye. When it's paper white... enough. And I
>would also give a plain water rinse at the end.
>Then again I wouldn't use a clearing bath at all unless I saw
>visible stain.. which is most likely (IME) in weather like this.
>"[Read My T-shirt] for President... A True History of the Political
>Front and Back," by Judy Seigel
>"I'd recommend it for a Pulitzer Price except I lack the

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