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

Re: gum preservatves

If I buy gum premixed I buy it from Daniel Smith--it's excellent and light colored. A gallon is only $61 which in my book is not a lot of cash. Of course, shipping costs a lot nowadays.

I figure a gallon will do 384 tricolor 8x10 gum prints so the per-print cost is quite low. And, as Judy says, it never goes bad. I mean, a pint or liter is all an average gum printer might need to get but the gallon is a lot cheaper.

That said, I am amazed at those of you who have the same gallon for years--Paul Anderson had the same gallon for, what did he say, 18 years? Just on my Parking Lot project alone I went through a liter, and those were small prints. Granted, gum is my process of choice, and those of you who make pt/pd your process of choice probably go through how much pt/pd in a year? I remember someone saying a particular pt/pd printer would buy $3000 at a time of pt/pd from B and S. Thus my point being how cheap gum is by comparison.

Personally, with the price of things nowadays, I would stock up on gum as best as one can. I read somewhere that the gum tree had a problem last year--was that on this list? Immediately I thought oh no, would there come a day when gum was so scarce it was like gold? Then I'd have to switch to casein like Peter Blackburn and Sam Wang and make my prints out of my morning milk. Or gloy I suppose.

I usually buy the powder in pound containers. A pound is about $23-30 depending where you buy it and if I do a quick inaccurate math comparison between dry and D. Smith liquid a pint from powder will be about $10 vs the $14, not too much savings but you have the option of using a thicker gum than the 14 baume should that need arise. Plus the powder weighs a lot less thus cheaper shipping.

My two cents on a saturday morning after I blew out my knee slipping on a wet floor in the darkroom :(

Christina Z. Anderson
----- Original Message ----- From: "Judy Seigel" <jseigel@panix.com>
To: <alt-photo-process-l@usask.ca>
Sent: Friday, September 05, 2008 7:36 PM
Subject: Re: gum preservatves

On Fri, 5 Sep 2008, Erie Patsellis wrote:

Varn (a supplier to the printing industry) still makes 14 baume Gum Arabic, it's used as a desensitizer on printing presses with chrome cylinders (keeps the ink from adhering beyond the area of the printing plate). Any offset printing supplier can get it for you.


Actually, I've had Varn gum, may still have some in the darkness under my sink. If memory serves it was OK, but not the fave... Tho maybe if I still have it it's improved with age, or could be different today from what it was then... Aanyway, I'll check...