U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: Gum on Masa

Re: Gum on Masa

This appears to be a challenge.

The only way I could address it was by applying the 3M adhesive in rapid 2-3 passes to ensure sufficient area coverage, then lay down the smooth side of Masa on to it, and cross my fingers hoping that dot gain would do the rest when I ran a roller over it. And it did.

Do try it, it is well worth the effort.


On 18-Mar-08, at 3:51 PM, Keith Gerling wrote:

Thanks, Rajul, for introducing me to this paper.  I had very bad
results trying to mount the paper to a firm support.  Air bubbles
would expand and cause all kinds of havoc.  But I can certainly
imagine that how multiple coats would be far easier with a support.

On Mon, Mar 17, 2008 at 10:32 AM, Rajul <eyeear@telus.net> wrote:

You have demonstrated how sensitive and responsive Masa is, and it
befits the subject eminently. Thanks for sharing.

I work with ~8 x 10's (my trays and sink are a limitation), but I have
been able to do anywhere from 5 - 6 gum passes with or without Cyano,
slipping in a formalinized gelatin sizing as and when needed. The paper
has held beautifully, probably due to
the dimensions of my prints, and mounting Masa on a transparent support.

I am readying a series of prints for the Art Ark Gallery
(<www.theartark.com>) for an April showing, the subject being a
homestead on a local tobacco farm (a Kelowna landmark) that has had 5
generations of a pioneer family witness its gracious aging.


On 17-Mar-08, at 6:30 AM, Keith Gerling wrote:

I've been making gum photos on Masa paper.. Here is a link to some
current work featuring dancers:


Yes, too many - I'm still editing. As is usually the case with
on-line gums, only a resemblance seems to exist between the displayed
image and the actual print. Here is a close-up to demonstrate


As I have only used alternative substrates for the last 5 years
(mostly aluminum and gessoed tar paper) it took me awhile to get the
hang of printing on paper, especially a paper as thin as Masa, I had
to re-learn the entire gumprinting process and to make the learning
curve especially tricky I also am using inkjet negatives for the first
time in nearly nine years. The Masa I purchase comes in sheets of
21x31, large enough for a decent sized print and cut in half provides
almost the same perspective, so there is little waste (which isn't an
issue anyway because it is so cheap). These are all gum over
cyanotype and are 12x18 inches on half sheets. They were printed with
baby-oiled paper negatives. Some observations:

Masa is very thin, so on the positive side, it is 1) inexpensive, 2)
very easy to register multiple layers, 3) very fast to dry.

On the negative side, it is very flimsy and thus difficult to handle
when wet. Also, and this is the biggest disadvantage I can see when
compared to other papers, it gets very disagreeable when one attempts
more than three layers of gum. I can do it, but it is certainly a
challenge I'm not a huge fan of using cyanotype as my blue layer,
but my usually practice of adding layer upon layer to build up density
is not an option. However, it takes a cyano layer very nicely, so
rich blacks can be had fairly easily.

I'm working now with full sized sheets and the results are very
promising. The biggest problem is keeping a larger oiled negative
registered while trying to place it under a piece of glass with a
sheet of mylar between the negative and the print. Much easier with a
smaller print where I can use a contact printing frame.