U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Printing in white on black (was Re: First print on Al

Printing in white on black (was Re: First print on Al

On Mon, 23 Mar 2009, Loris Medici wrote:
BTW, your usage of pumice gave me an idea: maybe I can use (highly porous,
just like pumice) finely ground activated carbon (with clear acrylic
medium) to make black grounds and print with white paint using positives!?
Will try this in the future... I remember seeing very nice looking prints
(in PF) made on black paper using white paint/positives; I always wanted
to try this but couldn't manage beause I wasn't able to find suitable
black paper...
Thanks, Loris, for the reminder!

I've been (at last -- you heard of the Augean stables??!!) making mere chaos out of the shambles of the studio and found a fat folder of large positive transparencies (inkjet prints on thin paper that was bee's waxed) -- never printed, tho looking perfect for gum -- but despaired of "fixing" the darkroom enough to make negatives from them. (I did the positives digitally, but even my really large scanner isn't large enough to scan them for reversal, not to mention sorting out all the plugs & wires in the old wet darkroom: Why won't the safelight go on?, where's that big lith film?, will a pack of 15-year old Dektol still work?, etc. (Don't ask me why I didn't do negatives right off... Maybe so I could print them in white???)

However, I have turned both heavy paper and matboard from white to black, which was (at least then) very easy -- two coats (dry pigment-black in gum and dichromate -- little if any testing because it worked fine right off), each coat exposed hard and soaked til the dichromate seemed gone (wash water will stay pretty clear). After 2nd coat, flatten (I did it between blotters under glass under weights). Granted, I didn't print anything fancy... tho I dare hope... (Wouldn't it be great to have our negs arrive full blown, like Venus from the brow of Zeus ?

Anyway, thanks again.

PS: We used to buy pumice in the local hardware store... I haven't bought it lately, but odds are it's still available there (in case you have one nearby).

PPS: I used dry pigment, not only for economy, but because I could get the black REALLY dense without all the fillers and other agents in tube colors.