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You're partly correct except that the Fresson process uses a special paper
that was once sold commercially. I found an account of Fresson in one of
those old Anderson books.
A "slightly rough paper which will withstand moderately harsh treatment
is first given a coat of hardened gelatine, and over this is placed a coat of
some colloid-- probably gelatin-- which is so treated as to melt at 96 F.
With this second coat of gelatin there has been incorporated a relatively
large amount of earth pigment, the result being toi make the surface opaque
and at the same time to give a matt surface that is entirely devoid of
The paper is sensitized before use with potassium bichromate. After
printing, the paper is soaked first in cold water, then warm water, and then
placed on a slanting surface. "A puree of boxwood sawdust and water is
poured repeatedly over it, this soup gradually eroding and gradually carrying
off the soluble portions of the gelatine, with the pigment which they
contain, thus bringing out the gradations of the subject."
Although the contemporary Fresson prints that I have seen have a grainy
look much like some inkjet prints, Andreson says that properly handled, and
on smooth paper, "has a texture nearly as fine as a palladium print..."
Now where do we get a supply of boxwood sawdust?