[alt-photo] Re: Trying to understand how ferric chloride reacts with gum arabic

Katharine Thayer kthayer at pacifier.com
Wed Dec 8 16:05:12 GMT 2010

Kees, have you ever tried this?  I have, several times, and have  
never been able to get a very satisfactory result, so have discounted  
the explanation (except that for me it was Maskell & Demachy, 1898,  
where I first saw this described).  My results were so contrary to  
what they described, added to the fact  that Demachy, like Idzerda,  
did not continue to use this method, that I've suspected that this  
isn't a reliably reproducible effect, whatever it is.

On Dec 8, 2010, at 7:40 AM, Kees Brandenburg wrote:

> On 8 dec 2010, at 15:55, Mike and Jan Andrews wrote:
>> I am intrigued when you refer to
>> "... carbon techniques where a coat of dichromate is exposed and  
>> pigmented gum is brushed over it. Here the hardening compound is  
>> allso diffusing in the colloïd."
> I spoke a little bit to soon, because the technique I meant is a  
> slightly different but  also works by diffusion from the bottom up.  
> But exposure is at a different moment.
> I was refering to this book:
> It is the first book about gum printing in the Netherlands and was  
> written by W. H. Idzerda: De Gomdruk, published by Hansma,  
> Apeldoorn in 1899. In his method a gelatin sized and hardened paper  
> is coated (chromated he calls it) with a 10% solution of Potassium  
> or Ammonium dichromate. Then it is dried. A pigmented layer of gum  
> is brushed over the paper, dried and the exposed. He describes how  
> the dichromate diffuses in the gumlayer starting at the paper  
> surface. He states: 'the dichromate concentration is at the contact  
> point between paper surface and gum layer at its highest. Thus  
> ensuring a better bond between paper and gum". The paper is  
> developed in water with the use of several manipulations (friction  
> with wet cotton, sawdust etc..
> He gives the credits for this method to James Packham, F.R.P.S. I  
> found a copy of an original text: http://www.photographyhistory.net/ 
> category/gum-bichromate/
> In later publications Idzerda changed to the 'normal' gum technique.
> Kees
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