U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: Masa-gum question for Keith Gerling

Re: Masa-gum question for Keith Gerling

Hey, no fair destroying my illusions. The way I look at it, if it works, don't badmouth it, just call it a happy accident if you must. Anyway, I like the effect, however created, and may be working on developing a similarly "fast and sloppy" technique to see if I can replicate it.

And yes, I did notice, on looking them over, that some are tricolor gum and others are gum over cyanotype. Thanks for all your patient answers to questions,

On Sep 23, 2008, at 2:46 PM, Keith Gerling wrote:

regarding your "I love the

painterly gestures you've incorporated into the backgrounds of your prints,
which I'm guessing are at least partly enabled by the characteristics of the

Thank you, but I rarely introduce intentional painterly gestures,
rather they are a result of fast and sloppy work! If you are
referring to works such as this:

then those red streaks are just areas where the hasty application of
emulsion (made prior to my dilution of the mix) caused the emulsion to
sink into the paper and stay there, whereas much of the rest of the
magenta unfortunately (or fortunately?) washed away. Other similar
flaws can be seen here http://www.gumphoto.com/masa/pages/dance55.htm
and here http://www.gumphoto.com/masa/pages/dance060.htm. Streaks
like that can be avoided by careful application of the emulsion with a
roller. That is why I choose to use a brush. I cannot say that the
artifacts are the result of the paper, except to say that the paper
thin nature encourages a rapid coating.

And yes, I size with gelatin. BTW, the majority of those dancer
pictures were gum over cyanotype.

On Tue, Sep 23, 2008 at 3:47 PM, Katharine Thayer <kthayer@pacifier.com> wrote:

On Sep 23, 2008, at 11:10 AM, Keith Gerling wrote:


There are disadvantages working with masa, but the price makes up for
them. With masa you actually get two papers, as the rough side and
the smooth side are completely different. There are actually a few
interesting little surprises that await those willing to experiment.

I look forward to discovering those, I think? :--). I love the
painterly gestures you've incorporated into the backgrounds of your prints,
which I'm guessing are at least partly enabled by the characteristics of the
paper. Have you been a painter, too? Your work is very painterly, and I
mean that as a compliment.

Actually, not that it matters, but just for the record, I think I may have
been the first to try printing gum on masa, or at least to report it on the
list. Loris, I think, posted some cyanotype on masa and someone asked me
offlist if I'd ever tried gum on masa. I said no, I never had, but I had
some masa and would try it just for the heck, and I did and posted it that
afternoon. That was... (checking the creation date on the page, which I've
since taken offline)...gosh, nearly two years ago. how time flies. I
didn't bother to size it, and found the nappy side very difficult to coat
smoothly, but the smooth side coated beautifully and easily and printed well
too, at least for one coat, which was all I did. I commented that it was a
delight to find a really smooth paper that was easy to coat (Arches bright
white, unlike most other HP watercolor papers, is a real PITA to coat
evenly, though I love the smoothness of its tones once printed) and that the
speed of drying was a big plus, in addition to the price. I never took it
any farther than that, myself, and now that I want to, I can't find any masa
in my flat file. Grr.

By the way, as a general note (file under "do as I say, not as I do") I
would caution people to always write in pencil at the edge of odd papers you
might accumulate over the years, what they are, if it's not evident from a
watermark. Going through my flat file today, I've found any number of
one-sheet-of-a-kind papers that I have no idea what they are.