U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: A few gum things

Re: A few gum things

On Mon, 7 Apr 2008, Diana Bloomfield wrote:

I then went to my local art store, and bought some gesso. The man who owns the store (who is an artist) asked me what I was doing. I guess I looked confused. When I told him, he gave me a bottle of Gamblin PVA, and told me I should try that. He said he'd give it to me if I promised to come back and tell him how it worked, compared to the gesso. The PVA was pretty dilute to begin with, and I didn't know if I should dilute it more-- but I tried it (diluted), and it actually worked very well. I think I tried a second layer, and it didn't work so well, so I'm thinking I shouldn't have diluted the initial coating, or perhaps one has to coat between layers when using PVA? I'm not sure, but I'm going to go back and try it again. If anybody has used it and knows, I'd love to know more about how I should be using it (diluted or not). I did like it very much. I also tried the gesso, but I think I didn't dilute that enough. The print looked great for about 30 seconds, and then the whole thing washed off. I want to go back and try that again. I much preferred the PVA, though-- both the consistency and the ease of using it-- goes on very smoothly.

Old timers on the list may remember the days when Terry King extolled the virtues of Gloy Gum as medium for gum printing (tho not as I recall as a size). Gloy (marketed as a kind of library paste) was popular generally with English gummists. According to Mike Ware, Gloy is PVA with some added ingredients (like maybe emulsifiers or odorizers). I hve some here but can't get the cap off to smell it..

I tried it as medium (instead of gum arabic) and hated it -- could never get it to do a continuous tone... Menwhile, AFAIK if it's used as a size it would still need hardening because it's water soluble. (Which could be why your 2nd coat didn't work so well, Diana !)