It is almost impossible to discuss the Fresson process/ Direct Carbon without reference to Jose Ortiz Echague ( and myself, of course ). The same with Carbon Transfer and Sandy King and Dick Sullivan of B&S who only makes and sells the Carbon Transfer tissue, at present.
I believe that the Echague ''look'' is what is generally regarded as ''Fresson'', and vice versa.......the ''look'' that Sandy and Carbon Transfer enthusiasts shy away from so adamantly in their processing because of the Direct Carbon low tonal range, low D. Max and not as much possibility of reproducing detail from the negative.
Without the '' high - per- bowl'' , I am finding it almost a platitude to say that Carbon Transfer can give to the photo artist what Direct Carbon cannot.
If we think that is all collectors and future investors want then lets all pack up and go home.
Does GUM printing stand a chance ?
How many Direct Carbon prints will change hands at the big Photo Fair coming shortly, in New York ? How many people are currently actually making Direct Carbon prints ?
The majority of Echague's prints were made with this elusive Fresson process. From repros, many prints look as if he, or the Fressons, used Michallet paper with its prominent striated ( tram lines ) texture. This Michallet paper could also been seen in many of the drawings of SEURAT ( NOT SURY ) at the MOMA , New York ) which afforded a mention from Judy, recently, and went with hardly any comment from the List.
There may still be a w/s by NY Times on the recent SEURAT exhibition, there.
Very INTERESTING, to coin a phrase.
One may find that it is this paper texture which gives the ''magic'' to the Fresson Direct Carbon print. On the other hand Carbon Transfer workers may find Michallet paper a hindrance to their goals. If CarbonTransfer can tackle this paper then I suppose that is even more reason to be despondent about the financial viability of manufacturing a Direct Carbon paper.
Michallet paper is now available as MBM Arches Ingres with which many pastel artists like to work as it holds the pigment well and is very responsive to the artist's touch. A possible reason why so popular with Echague.
I feel sure that if Dick Sullivan had the know how and technical expertise to make and market a Direct Carbon paper which would respond exactly as described in many published accounts of the development procedure, including that which is in Philippe's expensive book, Dick would risk investing in it.
But that is Dick's business, and as my Grandfather always said, ''Mind your own business and you will have a business to mind.''
The correspondence on this List, by now, must be reaching many thousands, if not millions, of readers including educators, students, entrepreneurs, gallery owners, museum curators, art photo investors, hobbyists, photo journalists and technical authors and publishers, not to mention w/s organizers of photo alternatives, so the potential money making aspect of such a highly secret process seems to be quite viable.
John - Photographist - London - UK