U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: ironing gum prints and other musings

Re: ironing gum prints and other musings

  • To: alt-photo-process-l@usask.ca
  • Subject: Re: ironing gum prints and other musings
  • From: Jack Brubaker <jack@jackbrubaker.com>
  • Date: Thu, 01 May 2008 14:33:47 -0400
  • Comments: "alt-photo-process mailing list"
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As to the subject of why some students link up so tightly with a new
media such as gum, I have always thought that different individuals
find their niche (if they find it) based in part on the resistance of
the medium. When I teach blacksmithing I am working with students
trying to get a grasp of a very resistant material that is too hot to
touch. Glassblowing and blacksmithing are basically the same.. the
stuff must be hot to work it and as a result you are always separated
from the material by intervening tools. The difference is the
resistance of the material. You should see the frustration of a
"natural potter" working with either media, they can't stand not being
able to touch the stuff. Gum has way more resistance than most photo
processes. It takes a long time to make a finished multi layer print
and the steps are non-specific in their results (that is there are so
many variables involved that results must be felt by intuition).


On 5/1/08, wcharmon@wt.net <wcharmon@wt.net> wrote:
> I think this is true with a lot of alt-processes, but particularly true
>  for gum. A recent example of this was about a month ago. A friend was in
>  town for Fotofest, and wanted to learn a little about doing some gumovers.
>  For various reasons, the time we had allocated got jammed up, so it
>  amounted to about 4 hours of so-called 'instruction', from sizing to
>  coating to exposing and developing. We did 2 coats of gum on two of his
>  images. He's back home and sending me jpegs of what he has done since
>  then, and holy-moly, he's got it. Amazing. But I think the key is, he both
>  'got it' and liked it right away, and the rest just amounts to doing it
>  enough to learn a little more each day.
>  > Good morning,
>  > I've been thinking about this semester of teaching alt, what worked, what
>  > didn't.  I always get introspective (and a bit sad as my students move to
>  > other classes) at the end of the semester.  I taught gum for a period of
>  > about 5 weeks of the total time, and this was much better to give an
>  > extended period devoted to gum (I also taught salt, cyanotype, VDB, and
>  > pt/pd and before only devoted 3 wk to gum).
>  >
>  > What I noticed (and it'd be interesting to see if other alt teachers agree
>  > on this? Sam? Judy? Peg Fredi? Kerik? Clay? Diana? who am I missing?) is
>  > that gum printers are "born" somewhat instantly.  In the first week or two
>  > it is apparent who will gravitate to gum and stay there and who will not.
>  > >