U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: Gum tonal range (was Miracle size for gum)

Re: Gum tonal range (was Miracle size for gum)

On Mon, 12 Oct 2009, Katharine Thayer wrote:

..... my recommendation on my page on gum and tonality is that if you want your print to have a longer tonal range with subtle gradations throughout the range, the only way to do it, really, is by multiple printings. Gum printers understood that a hundred years ago, and it's still true.
Herewith a "PS" upfront: I had resolved not to mention the final item in this e-mail, but the devil made me do it. Apologies.

First, however, gum printing: I agree about the powers of multiple printing ... in fact, what I've been feeling as I work my way down this very interesting queue, is what the dickens is the problem with multiple printing ??? Isn't that exactly the miracle of gum? What I've said (and taught) forever is, if you don't like it, wipe it off & do another coat or 3, or another coat without wiping off -- or give a long soak and THEN wipe off. What, I've been wondering is the inhibition?

It is, I suppose, the PITA of the preshrinking beforehand & the re-register. Obviously it's easier to just tear into a print. But IME, if you incorporate the preshrink into your system, so you always have excess shrunk paper on hand, it solves a lot of problems. (Consider it the small price to pay for the joy of gum.)

And tho I have (admittedly) made a point of "One Coat Gum" -- with an article on it in some P-F or other -- it may be a kind of tour de force. For sure I can ALWAYS think of something I need to add, or fix, or try... & that frustration/temptation is worse than the preshrink. In fact, if I haven't preshrunk I feel like I'm tempting fate (which does NOT need tempting around here).

Meanwhile, I just spent a couple of hours on alternativephotography.com, extremely interesting & even answered the question that took me there... I'd come across a reference to "mordancage" in an old P-F & tho I knew what it was, could remember no more --- so, my index having been lost in dreamland, I googled it. The first google reference took me to Jonathan Bailey's article on that website, which answered my question totally.... and from there I read Peter & Chris on gum (bravo to both) and a couple of others .... tho of course we already know they're good and this list is good and that website is good... all terrific in fact.

Of course a well-adjusted person would let it go at that. But I never claimed to be well-adjusted, & therefore note that "its" is the possessive pronoun-- as in, "I like its delicate tone," NOT "I like it's delicate tone"; while "it's" is the contraction for "it is," as in "It's a wonderful process." Of course it's impossible when writing in haste to get this straight all the time; I catch myself doing it, too. In casual e-mail, it's nothing...

In fact, that distinction may soon be abandoned, as "hopefully" for "I hope," is now OK. But, hopefully, in the interim we can do better. It seemed a shame to see it wrong all over that wonderful website, that incredible, awesome labor of love and expertise.