From: Marcie Greer (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: 09/09/02-10:24:00 AM Z
I'm new to this list, and also to gum bichromate printing. I'm coming to
this sideways from a background in painting and drawing, but for the
past 12 years I have been working increasingly with digital images. The
big problem to me is how to get the images out of the machine, and this
group will understand when I say that I wanted a print and not a
printout. Years ago I had a friend who was a gummist and so I eventually
came around to thinking that this might be a very good solution, one
that I could control well and that would also give a unique product as
opposed to a set of reproductions. It seemed to combine the best of all
worlds and would even let me experiment with newer pigments and
additives (such as mica). So, I have made a negative and I have my
chemicals, Fall is almost here and I'm ready to start.
One worry I still have is about handling the waste. I've spent a few
days reading through the archive ... it's huge! ... but I'm still not
sure what I should do with the wash water, according to current
thinking. Do you have some advice on disposing of it? Do you have to be
equally as careful with the third wash as with the first, in terms of
disposal? I will have a fairly decent space set up (about 9'x 26') in
the basement with water and sinks for doing the messy parts, but I won't
have leftover developer and such because I'm not a photographer.
Some more question: There are some odds and ends collected around the
house I am wondering if I can use in my new lair. There is an old
refrigerator that was in the house when we bought it. It's sitting
unplugged in the basement and I could move it into my darkroom if I had
a use for it. Is there a use for refrigeration?
My husband just bought a new compressor. I have several nice airbrushes
from my days in commercial art. What is the current thinking about
airbrushing emulsion onto the substrate? I read in the archive about
applying a dichromate layer with a brush and then airbrushing the
pigment on. Does this work?
I noticed a product in the catalog called a Pfaff paper safe. Could this
be used to store paper prepared for gum prints, if I wanted to prepare
several at a time?
Back in the dinosaur days I ran the photostat camera at an drafting
supply house, and we made very nice big negatives for the silk screen
guys. Are these cameras still around? Does anyone out there use
negatives made this way? There were a lot of those cameras around at one
time. Are they commonly for sale second-hand these days?
About grinding the pigments into the emulsion... it seems to me that
basically what you are doing is just preparing watercolors by hand
(which I am not opposed to). I even have a collection of dry pigments
from the days when I felt compelled to do everything from scratch. My
question is, does this really get you anywhere? Watercolorists grind
their own if they feel that commercially prepared products don't give
them exactly the quality they want, but for this type of printing it
seems to me that you wouldn't be controlling the pigments as precisely,
so I am wondering if there is any real benefit. The only advantage that
I can see would be to increase the homogeneity of the dispersion but is
this a problem often encountered?
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