U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: giclee, silver gelatin/gelatin silver was 3 questions

Re: giclee, silver gelatin/gelatin silver was 3 questions

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  • Subject: Re: giclee, silver gelatin/gelatin silver was 3 questions
  • From: Richard Knoppow <dickburk@ix.netcom.com>
  • Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2008 05:49:08 -0800
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----- Original Message ----- From: ender100
To: alt-photo-process-l@usask.ca
Sent: Wednesday, November 19, 2008 9:48 PM
Subject: Re: giclee, silver gelatin/gelatin silver was 3 questions

Richard & Judy,

I agree that giclee is a silly name for inkjet prints. If you are going to make inkjet prints, call them that and accept them as a legitimate medium. I have had both gallery owners and others insist that their "giclee" prints were NOT inkjet prints, but some other obscure medium—giving no explanation as to how they were actually made. Ignorance is bliss or giclee I guess.

Regarding "silver-gelatin", I see the terms "gelatin silver" and "silver gelatin" used—is there a correct usage? Somehow Silver Gelatin seems to sound better to me.

Best Wishes,

Mark Nelson
Precision Digital Negatives
PDN Print Forum @ Yahoo! Groups
Mark Nelson Photography

I'm not quite sure when I first saw the term silver-gelatin, or its reverse, used. I probably saw geclee first at the gallery I mentioned where the owner tried to kick me out for asking too pointedly what it was. That was perhaps ten or more years ago at a place in Laguna Beach. Most alternative processes seem to have long established names, for instance carbon, dye-transfer, platinum print, Cyanotype, salt print, gum print, etc. The labeling seemst to me to have started in ernest when photographs became collectible, or rather, investible (to coin a term), probably as a resut of more conventional art such as paintings becoming too dear for ordinary buyers. Silver-gelatin bothered me at first but the fact is that there is no generic term for plain, ordinary, regular, vanilla flavored prints of the sort one once could get at the drugstore. Someone mentioned the term "pigment print" which does still bother me because it is not very definitive. A carbon print could be called a pigment as can be inkjet prints using pigment based inks rather than dye based ones. Oil and gum prints could also be called pigment prints. I think the term has arisen because the "art public" has some awareness that pigments are supposed to be more "archival" and hense desirable.
There may be a place where all these terms are defined with some formality but I am unaware of it.
Since there are many working artists, and I think some gallery operators on this list I suggest that the terminology for the various products is of more than trivial concern as it involves the ethics of the business.

Richard Knoppow
Los Angeles, CA, USA