U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: On topic: myth or reality?

Re: On topic: myth or reality?


you see that's what I meant from a few words you almost write a book in no

I found a few words the other day that went about like this: "Give a man a
camera and you make him a photograph, give a man a violin and you say he own
a violin"

These few words translate the essence of what I mean with gum printing. If I
where to do gum seriously, I would do it like a violinist, nothing less
would satisfy me. It the same for everything else I hold at heart, I give it
my best until I'm satisfied. You would be surprised how these last words
"I'm satisfied" characterise me. My wife is happy when I say them, we laugh
about it all the time, it as become our inside joke if you will. Sometime,
she even suggest that I do small things so I can say them with a smile on my
face, you have to understand as well that I have severe back problem and
with all the pills I take it doesn't happen to often that I feel like
smiling which gives those few little words a special meaning to us.

Thanks again and have happy holidays,
PS I'm satisfied now and I'm smiling.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Judy Seigel" <jseigel@panix.com>
To: <alt-photo-process-l@usask.ca>
Sent: Thursday, December 20, 2007 12:26 PM
Subject: Re: On topic: myth or reality?

> On Thu, 20 Dec 2007, Yves Gauvreau wrote:
> > ...I'd like to do this [gum printing] with my
> > hands as you do but I know it can take years to master and I don't know
if I
> > have that time left in my life. At least I have woodworking where I can
> > express myself with my hands and I find that very rewarding.
> Yves, The business about gum printing taking "years to master" is pure
> baloney, worse than anything Photoshop could invent when it's full of it.
> I've taught literally HUNDREDS of space cadet undergrads & more than a few
> brain-damaged orthodontists, actuaries and librarians to make gum prints
> to their heart's desire in a couple of lessons.... The SECRET is you have
> to know what you're doing and start with first things first.... (matching
> the negative to the medium is one of them).
> That is, do not believe the myths invented by self-styled "experts" with a
> book to sell, including folks who've never done a gum print in their lives
> but need a chapter on gum which they cut and paste from some other
> off-the-wall chapter on gum.... WORST of all, the VERY VERY worst being
> the Paul Anderson "gum pigment ratio test," which not only has NOTHING to
> do with gum printing but causes IQ loss just from reading the
> instructions.
> Another canard is "gum can't do fine detail." Apologies for repeating
> myself, but gum can print everything in the negative, provided you don't
> use paper the texture of tree bark... which kind of got to be the habit
> when folks who knew diddle wanted to get artsy.
> Here are 2 suggestions...
> Somewhere in Paris (I think the Biblioteque Nationale -- Bob Schramm will
> know) there's a collection of Robert DeMachy gums... I understand they're
> exquisite (they're certainly wonderful in repro). Go see them and get an
> idea of what a printer who learned gum printing from a couple of sentences
> in his camera store from a printer who'd picked it up pretty much himself
> -- in 1889 when gum printing was not yet an "art" medium -- could do.
> BEFORE THE INTERNET if you could believe ! Demachy experimented a few
> weeks and then got a gum print in the salon.
> Then go to www.alternativephotography.com/books/js_post_factory.html
> That's the first issue of The World Journal of Post-Factory Photography,
> complete, courtesy of Malin (oops, spacing on her last name).  This will
> tell you everything you need to know to make whatever gum your heart
> desires... Not that there can't be details and embellishments galore and
> maybe even more to come, but you can master those basics in... taking
> things easy, two days.
> I'll add here in case Ryuji is with us that I was being FACETIOUS when I
> said I do gum prints in 16 bits. (The only 16 bits in my life is 8
> quarters for the parking meter, and that goes to sainted husband who parks
> the car.) As noted, gum can print everything in the negative, but there is
> dot gain, maybe as much as going from a laser print of a photo to offset,
> tho it also depends on your mix, and if you're applying more than one
> coat, on your skill at re-register. If you want sharp sharper sharpest, as
> many on this list (and even the world at large) do, you may not choose gum
> for your main medium.  However you should treat yourself at least for a
> while, because it is delicious and, far from being impossible to master,
> is the most forgiving medium in the canon (beyond pure fantasy). If you
> make a mistake just brush it off and coat it again.
> PS to Sandy et al:  As for voulez vous being all those words --- why only
> "ce soir"?  What about love in the afternoon? (Tho I thought it would more
> logically be "veux tu" -- n'est-ce pas?)
> bonne everything...
> Judy