U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: gum mixes

Re: gum mixes

Hey Scott,

I had been doing gum over pt/pd, but some of the same reasons you list here are also why I wanted to try gum printing (by itself). I was having all sorts of problems, and then I looked at James' book and followed his formula (and "prepared for success!"). I had no problems after that, except for-- as ever-- attempting to locate the perfect paper. One issue I've never liked with gum prints is the grainy sort of look I always see, but that everyone keeps saying doesn't have to be a given. I did notice that in the last portfolio exchange, Don Bryant's gum prints, in particular, were smooth (not grainy) and really lovely. Someone else had really smooth ones, too, though I can't now remember who that was -- Marek maybe? Anyway, Don was nice enough to mail me some paper he'd already sized, and the paper he sent worked great. I'd been using glyoxal (sp?) with my sizing, but Don uses glut. He thinks that makes the difference. I'm not sure; all I know is, the prints were smooth(er). For me, speaking only as a gum-printing rank beginner, there just seems to be so many variables that the inconsistency can be very frustrating. I'm probably still doing everything wrong, but I am keeping notes now, and that does help. I'm hoping to include some in this next portfolio round, but I'm also hoping we change the start date of that from January to something closer to February 1. ??


On Jan 5, 2008, at 2:15 PM, Weber, Scott B wrote:

On the subject of gum. After seeing the gum prints in last years traveling portfolio (not to mention all this chatter about gum on the list) I have decided to give it a try. I will start with the formulas in Christopher James book, The Book of Alternative Photographic Processes. Any recommendations or warnings?

Scott B. Weber
Associate Professor of Photography
Department of Fine Arts
Barry University
11300 NE 2nd Avenue
Miami Shores, Florida 33161
(305) 899 4922

-----Original Message-----
From: Keith Gerling [mailto:keith.gerling@gmail.com]
Sent: Saturday, January 05, 2008 12:35 PM
To: alt-photo-process-l@usask.ca
Subject: Re: gum mixes


In an attempt to remove some of the loosey from the goosey, I've mixed
up another batch, kept track, and it's really simple: 100 grams of
powdered gum to 125 ml water.


On Jan 3, 2008 9:01 PM, Christina Z. Anderson <zphoto@montana.net> wrote:
Thanks, y'all, for clarifying--whew! I was really wondering there for a

And thanks for the rest of the responses, too. Keith--I'm describing yours
as "loosey-goosey" :) or the "intuitive" method of gum printing-- going by

Any of you do the heavy gum mix/lighter exposure/runny impressionistic one
coat French method?

----- Original Message -----
From: "Henry Rattle" <henry.rattle@ntlworld.com>
To: <alt-photo-process-l@usask.ca>
Sent: Thursday, January 03, 2008 9:54 AM
Subject: Re: gum mixes

Hi Christina,

For my method (8) the gum mix is right but then it's 5ml gum mixed with
small blob of pigment (using flexible palette knife on a small tea-plate)
and then 5 ml potassium dichromate added. No additional water. The
10 ml is enough to coat 5-6 sheets of sized paper for about 7x9 inches
image, using a hake brush.



On 3/1/08 14:23, "Christina Z. Anderson" <zphoto@montana.net> wrote:

Dear all,
So this is what I have so far--only 10 gum printers on the list
The range of practice of gum never ceases to amaze me. In historical
it was 10% gum to 100% gum (the latter was mixed 1 gum powder to 1
know, it is not technically a 100% solution but that was what they termed
in those days--in other words, a 40% solution was 40g gum PLUS 100ml
not in a total combined volume of 100ml.
Some questions: Marek, do you use dry am di at time of use? Henry and
David, at time of use you mix essentially a half strength potassium
dichromate and am I correct with your 1 di: 1 water: 10 (!) gum? How
are your exposures and are they in the sun? Guido, same thing-- do you use
that little potassium dichromate in your mix--essentially 1-5 parts gum
only 1/2 part pot di? If I have anyone's info wrong, let me know.
1.. Sam Wang 1+2 powdered and at time of use 1:1 with dry am di
2.. John Brewer 3+10 powdered, preserved with 15ml formalin per liter,
time of use 1:1 mix, changing this ratio for highlights and shadows
3.. Kees Brandenburg 3+10 LUMP which he says is 14 baume and at time of
use 1:1
4.. Marek Matusz premixed gum, stock pigment mixes of 1 tube pigment in
120ml gum and at time of use 3pt gum/pigment to 3 pt water to 1 part AMT
5.. Joe Smigiel is premixed 14 baume and at time of use 1:1 pot di,
pigments, sometimes powder pigments, sometimes mica or interference
6.. Bill Mull is premixed gum and stock pigment made with gouache at 6
gum: 1 gouache and at time of use 1:1 pot di and one coat gums made with
paper negs
7.. Hamish premixed gum and stock pigment solutions and at time of use
1:1, but sometimes 1:2
8.. Henry Rattle 70 to 200 Kordofan No. 1 LUMPS with few drops formalin
and at time of use 1 di: 1 water: 10 gum
9.. Guido Ceuppens 200g to 850 water with 5gr sodium benzoate with
pigments of 1 g watercolor tube: 6ml gum and at time of use 1 part
parts gum:0.5 pot di
10.. David Hatton 500g + 1 liter with 10 drops 100% thymol and at time
use 1 pot di:1 water:10ml gum with varying amounts of pigment depending
layer, color
Christina Z. Anderson
Assistant Professor
Photo Option Coordinator
Montana State University
Box 173350
Bozeman, MT 59717