U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | oil printing

oil printing

On Wed, 24 Sep 2008, henk thijs wrote:
OILPRINTING is a contact-procedee like gum, cyano etc..
Coating a 300grams paper -like you use for gum- with a 10% gelatine, three times, let dry and coat with a 6% potassium dichromate.
Like gum, put the neg on top , UV-light for twice the time you expose gum.
Wash out the chromate, gelatine is partly harded and now you have your matrix for oiling.
Info about the ins and outs are difficult to find; in David's book, the chapter about oilprinting is a bit thin. I had to do a lot of testing (or better: paperbasket filling with rubbish) before making oilprints ; but if you succeed there is no need for a darkroom anymore (and if you have anyway a suitable negative and some chromate ....).
The books and magazines of Demachy's period when oil printing hove into view have many articles about that process, some, I daresay quite complete.

I found them appealing, but resisted for a number of reasons, including and especially because I'm allergic to the solvents (and warn anyone using oil paints be careful: Turpentine is one of the two most allergenic substances for humans. The other is chrome, tho I don't know if that extends to all forms, including dichromates, or just shiny bumpers.)

In any event don't get your hands in the turp, or yr feet either for that matter... I now use odorless mineral spirits when the need arises -- tho some labelled "odorless" lie -- so far OK, but I'm careful, ie, don't leave the stuff in an open container, and if I have it on rags or whatever, dispose of them in a closed container in another room... etc.) The worst, probably, is in a classroom -- imagine 30 palettes or trays in an enclosed space wet with turpentine !!!! (Yeah, in the good old days.)

Meanwhile, I'll check some of those period annuals, or whatever I find in the Mississippi delta AKA my book shelves. Or aren't there indexes of that literature somewhere?

PS to Henk: Sorry I can't join in the chorus of praise, because I have to switch partitions before I can see those prints... gotta get myself into giraffe, or whatever it is...

But soon, I hope....