U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: Gum printing technique

Re: Gum printing technique

Keith, just to clarify my own comment, I wasn't necessary agreeing with the word "sloppy" used by someone else, when I suggested that his technique is less than immaculate. I only meant that it didn't appear that his graduated cylinder had been washed before using. But his workshop looks kind of like mine, more like a painting studio than like a laboratory, and I don't have any particular problem with his way of working.

As for the gloves, I've never worn gloves. Well, I tried it once, for the developing stage, and found it just too inconvenient, pulling gloves on and off, as when I'm in a printing session I'm constantly going back and forth between coating and printing and developing, and I need the gloves off when I'm drying the coating, as I discern when the coating has the right moisture content by the way it feels to my hand.

My understanding is that the serious danger from dichromates is cancers of the breathing passages caused by inhaling quantities of the powder or spray over time (I wouldn't ever apply my emulsion with a spray gun or airbrush) but that the concern about having it touch your skin has more to do with the potential of developing a contact dermititis to the material and is a risk I've been willing to take. At any rate, I don't splash it around while mixing and coating and like Keith, have almost never got any on myself during that part of the process. It does wash off easily.

I was intrigued by his mixing technique; I liked the idea of mixing the emulsion in a styrofoam cup, which I assume was thrown away after. Fewer dishes to wash!

You're probably right about the light, but the point was that the light, unless I'm getting the wrong impression from the angle or something, seems too small to cover such a large print; if this is the case he would need to move either the print or the light during exposure to cover the entire image area. But I could be wrong about what I'm seeing.

I think sometimes there can be too much preciousness about gum technique, and I like this video because it shows a more robust approach to gum printing. And I agree with Laura; it would be great if there were more of these, to show the variety of gum techniques that work for different people.

On Dec 19, 2007, at 6:48 AM, Keith Gerling wrote:

I'm curious as to what people find to be sloppy.  He clearly does
measure his components, and the speed at which he works is a result of
the scale of his print.

I can't wear gloves during the coating process.  I tried it a long
time ago, but found it to be very awkward.  After handling gallons of
dichromates during my years, I think I've had to wash it off my skin
twice.  There's something to be said for just being careful.  But
then, I don't eat with a bib, either.

As for the lights, I could be wrong but I figure they were raised up
in order to make the video.

On Dec 18, 2007 5:03 PM, Laura Valentino <laura@this.is> wrote:

                        Maybe there's something to discuss in this

I found it very interesting to watch and would love to see more of this
type of video!

Interesting bits:
printing on wood
eyeball measurements
powdered pigments
rolling on the gum mixture
3 part negative (and the fact that you do see the lines in the finished
print, but in this case the image is strong enough to hold its own IMO)
size of bank of lights compared to size of print
Is there glass covering the negative during exposure? I can't tell. If
not, that would be interesting too.

This isn't a "how to" video for beginners, but an example of someone's
process, so the no gloves doesn't bother me...but interesting that he
doesn't wear them. Must be a "live dangerously" kinda guy.