Terry King gives an overview of gum bichromate printing, along with a step-by- step guide to the process. Fifteen years ago, I was in a similar. Gum bichromate process definition, a contact printing method in which the image is formed on a coating of sensitized gum containing a suitable colored pigment. In the late s, pictorialist photographers favored a diversity of photographic techniques, including the gum dichromate process. Sometimes superimposed.

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Introduction to gum bichromate printing

Try to start with negatives that have good not necessarily high contrast and density. Any color can be used for gum printing, so natural-color photographs are also possible by using this technique in layers.

You can buy a very guj version in lumps, together with bits of tree, which is known as royal buchromate arabic. Other tools A 5cc spoon from the pharmacy, long bladed plastic or steel palette knives and a white ceramic tea plate as your palette, map pins and drafting or magic tape, a contact printing frame or two pieces of 5mm plate glass.


Papers that are gelatine sized sometimes need additional size applied to the surface followed by an application of a weak formaldehyde or glyoxal solution hardener to help maintain paper quality throughout multiple print layers and many water baths. Read bichromqte health and safety instructions. Afterward, it is usually recommended that another coat be applied of the same color or perhaps another color over top of the first layer to help improve the tonal range and density of the print.


They are Bockingford lb and Fabriano 5 Not gsm. The Museum cannot endorse or accept responsibility for the service offered by any supplier. Retrieved from ” https: Brush as quickly and evenly as you procesz.

Handle with care and take proper safety precautions; keep out of reach of children; consult a Material Safety Data Sheet MSDS for further handling instructions. Gum arabic A dichromate usually ammonium or potassium Pigment The emulsion is spread on a support, such as paper, and allowed to dry.


That was a health warning. In this way you can easily trace your steps to find mistakes or places to bichrojate your printing. Often just a minor adjustment of one or two knobs will make a big difference. The negatives are then scanned and digitally printed to produce the enlarged negative.

Make a daily test print especially if you use the sun: After exposure and development, the insolubilised gum, which is porous, retains the solid particles of pigment, while any remaining dichromate in solution is washed away. It is good for your first experiments.

Refrigerate to extend its shelf life thereby reducing the need to add a preservative. Indicate each step including how many coats, length of baths, and hardening agent for archival and personal purposes. Gum prints tend to be multi-layered images sometimes combined with other alternative process printing methods such as cyanotype and platinotype. I too needed something to enliven my personal photography. Evaluate your negative s first and then your sizing quality if you persist in achieving unsatisfactory results.

Stretching pre-shrinking paper is necessary if you are printing more than one color or multiple times with the same color to build up density. As you begin printing in dichromate, try to standardize as many variables preset the console as you can such as paper, pigments, dichromate, gum, etc.

Make fresh as you go along. Check your local art shop or graphic arts supplier.

Blackburn is a freelance photographer working in the Dallas, Texas area. Much has been written about producing digital negatives and using software for alternative processes. Proocess you are intending to make 10 x 8 inch prints there is no problem. After exposure, the paper is placed in a series of plain water baths and allowed to develop until the unhardened portions of the emulsion have dissipated. I have found casein to have most of the advantages of gum while being a far more tolerant process.

Indeed, a properly made negative is one more key, among the many keys, to creating technically and esthetically pleasing prints.

Because the dichromate requires exposure to UV light to affect the gum, it is necessary bixhromate make contact prints from negatives the same size as the final print. Again, consult a MSDS for handling instructions if using either hardening solutions. Gelatine is a very effective size and one that many gum printers continue to use today with excellent results.


Ammonium dichromate NH4Cr can be dissolved to the extent of one part in three in water. I avoid problems procesz sizing and lack of lateral stability by using papers that are adequately sized and of adequate weight. Managing the gum bichromate process Successful gum printing can be achieved through a careful management of the many variable factors associated with the process.

An introduction to the gum bichromate process

Each layer of pigment is individually coated, registered, exposed and washed. Paper Most papers, and for that matter most surfaces that are not smooth and shiny, can be used for bicuromate printing. The information provided below is just one of many points of embarkment and offered to the reader as basic introductory material.

There are probably no two gum printers who approach their work in precisely the same manner. UV health lamps also work. Proxess a test exposure on the small sheet using a Stouffer scale to determine correct exposure time for your light source. Gum bichromate, or gum dichromate as it is also known, is a photographic printing process invented in the early days of photography when, inMungo Ponton discovered that dichromates are light sensitive.

The images for the Parallel series are shot on medium format black and white film and developed in pyro. As with all chemicals, treat them with respect.

Hello Terry, Thank you for your inquiry.

Paper negatives can be used to save cost for the larger sizes; the image on the paper negative will need to be laterally reserved; the exposure made emulsion to emulsion and increased by a factor of three. You will need to preshrink your paper if you plan to do multiple print layers. Lith and line films can be used but they should be exposed and developed for continuous tone unless you are looking for line results.