THE INTRICACIES OF GUM PRINTING

Impromptu: from my little journal:

April 03, 2013

“…in the morning today….made a solution of ammonium dichromate…

…two papers cut to size, double coated with gelatin and chrome alum, dipped in water, hung to dry.

Darkroom at 8:44 a.m.

Temperature: 28.0 (in Centigrade)

Humidity: 63%

 Two negatives, one of a portrait in Bicholim another of a portrait in Moira village.

First coat, Cobalt Blue and Raw Umber; three squeezes of Cobalt Blue with 2 ml of gum and 2 ml of ammonium dichromate.

First coating:

Temperature: 28.1

Humidity: 62%

 The first negative of the portrait in Bicholim was with exposure of five minutes. The second negative of the portrait in Moira too had the same exposure.

The second layer was of Raw Umber (more of it), Cobalt Blue, Ivory Black.

Temperature: 28.4

Humidity: 63%

Second coat exposure: 3 mins 50 seconds

The concentration is again of 2 ml of gum and 2 ml of dichromate.

The second coat of the Moira negative:

Temperature: 28.6

Humidity: 63%

Raw Umber, Cobalt Blue, Ivory Black

Exposure 3 mins 50 seconds

In the water for 10 minutes

For Moira, there was less paint (oops! A bit of paint spilt over) and could not cover the entire frame but the layer, after in water for 10 minutes, brought about an effect of painting with spare visible brushstrokes. It could covered up by the third layer and I feel I should’ve preserved the second layer…”

I’ve been plodding along with gum printing. I’ve been doing, undoing, taking down notes. There are jottings and sketches. Layers are made and layers collapse.

 Am perfectly at home in the garden; I see and feel the light, shadow, movement and stillness of the garden as I work out in the darkroom and study room. I notice the garden as I work. In being with gum bichromate, am also with the garden; one afternoon, all alone, I was still beneath a movement of sound as the wind blew and the trees moved. I was still and quiet as the garden heaved and resounded with sound. I carried on gum printing.

So, up till today:

“From no images to faint, barely there fuzzy images on paper mottled black with fungus, to a certain measure of picture clarity and a consistence in the emergence of images, picture clarity with an achievement of certain depth and detail in tone and with registration askew. Finer details need to be worked upon; the basics have been latched upon, very unexpectedly as also unexpectedly the movement towards colour. And, another of registration is being tried out that has given better results.”

 

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