Re: oil printing
Hahaha, that's the way of the list, to quibble over trivialities.
LOLOLOL yes, WE do, don't we now...
Demachy did perfect his technique right away because he was showing the very
same year he discovered gum. Wouldn't we all want to say the same about our
My salient point being that he is known for gum far more than he is known
for oil, and historically that is an important point to mention. To say he
"only printed gum for 6 or 7 years" seems to be downplaying actual history
but each to his own as some of us are wont to say....
Okay, I didn't bother to look it up (I was thinking 1899-1906, but I
guess he started earlier, though he didn't perfect his technique til
1899) at any rate, the number of years Demachy printed gum is immaterial;
the salient point was that Demachy became a prominent oil printer after
he quit gum printing.
On Sep 27, 2008, at 8:05 AM, Katharine Thayer wrote:
Thanks Dirk, glad that's cleared up, with one proviso: Demachy was,
actually, a prominent oil printer. He only printed gum for six or seven
years, and then he went on to oil printing. Maybe he was the kind of
person who is only interested in something until he figures it out, then
moves on to another challenge.
On Sep 27, 2008, at 12:09 AM, Dirk-Jan Treffers wrote:
My sincere apologies for the confusion... My question indeed was
related to oilprinting. (I try to stick to the subject...). I replied
to a reply of Judy to Thijs with the subject oilprinting, and Judy
mentioned Demachy in relation to the early years when oilprinting 'hove
into view'... so I immediately assumed that this Demachy-guy (or gal)
was an expert in the oilprint process... I'm sorry, I'm a real newby at
all this. Have absolutely no idea who this Demachy guy is, everybody
keeps reffering to ;-)
The URL I tried to refer to, was the recipe on alternative photography
for oilprinting, sorry Judy, no reference to your recipe on that site
was meant on my part.
The fact that Judy just mentioned that she didn't write anything about
oilprinting, may have been the subject of my confusion. Indeed, I got
'hit' by the subject oilprinting, since the gumprinting I tried, but
could get any satisfactory results in. Therefore that subject got my
attention. Since Judy didn't explicitly mentioned that she was changing
for oilprint to gumprint, I didn't catch on... This is absolutely no
blame on your behalf, Judy, please don't feel that way!
Sometimes it's just a little hhard for beginners to follow subject. And
I agree, when the subject changes, people do chime in, and usually it's
clear to everone (also me) that the original subject no longer is
But luckily, Katherine 'chimed in' with the answer I was looking for,
and together with other references to oilprint, I'm a lot further in
knowledge for oilprinting than I was in gumprinting, so you both helped
along the way! So Katherine, thanx very much for your answer. And I'll
promise to keep an eye open for change of subjects when Demachy's name
And Judy: Looking forward to hear from you with more details. Just the
fact that you've actually GOT articles at home the go 102 years back
makes me jealous... I don't even know of a library in the Netherlands
where I could go search for that kind of information....
Thanks both of you!
2008/9/27 Judy Seigel <email@example.com>
Since Dirk-Jan Treffers' question referred to "the same recipe on
alternativephotography.com," where the original of Post-Factory #1 is
posted, and includes my instructions for sizing in gum printing, I
assumed that that was the reference (also because I hadn't yet written
anything about oil printing). Though frankly with "oil printing" on my
mind, I didn't register the change of subject, nor would changing
subject line at that point necessarily have been constructive, since
the question was asked under "oil printing."
Not to mention that a question about oil printing concluded his e- mail.
As for changing subject lines generally, we see here that that's a
rule, sometimes necessarily honored in the breach. (Not to mention that
with "oil printing" on my mind, I didn't think of it, tho maybe I said
that.) When I logged on earlier this evening there were, by actual
count, some 5000 e-mails subject-lined -- oops, after a brain-drain
off-list operation, I forget what, but as so often happens, the
conversation got pretty far afield, but was lively, and interesting, or
so I recall.
In sum, the rule about changing subject lines is theoretically good
(tho I sometimes feel I'm the only one does that), but what happens in
reality is that a "conversational" exchange takes place that has no
predictable subject line, folks just chime in, and inserting one would
be a discontinuity, a wrench in the gears of the kind of semi-social or
friendly and personal exchange that tends to build community, but can't
be charted in advance.
Not to mention free association. Also, that if I changed the subject
line on this "reply," the answer I provide here would be lost.
I'll add now, at 12:45 AM, that I found several references to oil
printing, too many and varied to summarize simply, and obviously I
haven't tried any of them. I will return, probably tomorrow (or
rather, later today) with info and so forth, tho I share now what
strikes me as the most important fact I gleaned. (And gleaned is the
word, it didn't present itself readily -- more proof of what I've said
so often: the trouble with how-to articles is they're written by
experts, who don't realize that the info in their heads isn't on the
page. And/or that a reader 102 years into the future won't necessarily
get all their references.)
In any event, I finally realized that when "oil printing" articles
mention "ink," they don't mean the kind you dip your quill pen into,
but *printers' ink,* generally greasy and thick, needing to be thinned.
Maybe that's obvious to printmakers, but wasn't to me.
> > On Thu, 25 Sep 2008, Dirk-Jan Treffers wrote:
Just a wondering thought: Is it on purpose that you omit the use of
in your gelatine layer? I also found more or less the same recipe on
alternativephotogrphy.com, and there also the use of a hardening agent
glyoxal wasn't mentioned.
Is that correct, and if so, what's the reason for that?
I haven't seen what's actually on the website, but in the actual Issue
#1 of Post-Factory (with subsequent mentions and further testing in
later issues) the sizing section (in what you might call a "sidebar")
MOST DEFINITELY has the hardening. I do NOT however put the hardener in
the gelatin, for various reasons including in case I have some gelatine
left (I vat size, so have mixed up a heap), I can use it the next day,
or put it in the fridge, and keep for a week... also I just don't like
the idea -- maybe because that's not the way I was taught, or there
really is some difference, but IMO the hardener IN the gelatin is a
PITA, with no advantage.
In fact I doubt just rinsing would avoid the glyoxal yellowing, if it's
in the gelatin, tho that's just a guess, or maybe a prejudice, but
reducing the glyoxal enough so it wouldn't yellow without being able to
rinse it as a separate coat, might possibly have a downside. (Or, in
other words, if it ain't broke, why fix it?)
And another question (you see, I'm curious)... why is that in
negative is used, while in the gumoil process (which sounds more or
same...) you need a positive....
I forget exactly what "gumoil" was -- but remember that at the time I
considered it absolute nonsense.... What the guy (whose name I also
forget) was an absolute GENIUS at, however, was PR: I don't think
there was a photo publication or a photo-related publication that
didn't give him an article....
(And that was when we had a BUNCH of photo publications !)