Gum prints: Do is the way to learn

The gum process is a fusion of painting, printmaking, and photography. A light-resist, the size of the final image, is usually needed for contact-printing against gum emulsion. The resist functions as a printmaker’s matrix or a photographer’s negative.

Gum emulsion is a combination of pigment, gum arabic, and orange light-sensitive chromium salts in aqueous suspension. Usually a gum print is built up in layers of transparent or semi-transparent watercolor pigment. A layer of pigmented emulsion is hardened onto a surface by the action of actinic light.

Definition from A Non-Silver Manual: Gum bichromate, extract taken from AlternativePhotography.com.

I’m doing, learning, doing again, testing, making mistakes and learning a bit more. There are some amazing artists using gum bichromate that is intimidating and exciting to give a try (ok a lot of tries) to that awesome technique.

For me gum bichromates have obviously the appeal to let work in color but also the opportunity to out myself in the shoes of the pictorial artists. The notion of intervention over the process and stages in the creation of the image are incredibly contemporary ii my opinion. When the photographer or the artist take the decision to not only capture the image but consciously build it in the pursuit of an aesthetic goal the conceptual deep of that act is amazing.

I consider my self more a photo builder than a photographer in the strict sense of the word. These techniques in which the image is build not only but several layers but specially by the act of remove information from the paper or material employed like a base are simply wonderful for me.

Technical info

  • Paper: Kimberly 200grs (a bad choose, it breaks a lot and the pigment stained it a lot)
  • 3 coats of gelatine
  • Pigments: Prussian blue and Red
  • Exposure: From 6-10 minutes under middle sun
  • Wash: Warm water, the time varies from 10 minutes to 2 days…. its insane.

The negatives are acetate prints of digital captures: Almost all are mine except for one taken from the internet, sorry don´t remember where it’s only used as a test because I like it so much, and one from my step bro Yuluts Yonda.

And before the images a homage to an amazing artist who is not with us physically: Flemming Sarup, 1934 – 2012

Gummitryk 029
Gummitryk 029 from Flemming Sarup, 1934 – 2012

Gum prints over Kimberly's textured paper.
Gum prints over Kimberly’s textured paper.
Gum prints over Kimberly's textured paper.
Gum prints over Kimberly’s textured paper.
Gum prints over Kimberly's textured paper.
Original image was taken form the web, reproduced only as a test and a homage to the original author, I don’t claim any kind of property over the image in any way.
Gum prints over Kimberly's textured paper.
Gum prints over Kimberly’s textured paper.
Gum prints over Kimberly's textured paper.
Gum prints over Kimberly’s textured paper.
Gum prints over Kimberly's textured paper.
Photograph by Yuluts Yonda.
Gum prints over Kimberly's textured paper.
Gum prints over Kimberly’s textured paper.
Gum prints over Kimberly's textured paper.
Gum prints over Kimberly’s textured paper.
Gum prints over Kimberly's textured paper.
Gum prints over Kimberly’s textured paper.
Gum prints over Kimberly's textured paper.
Gum prints over Kimberly’s textured paper.
Gum prints over Kimberly's textured paper.
Gum prints over Kimberly’s textured paper.
Gum prints over Kimberly's textured paper.
Gum prints over Kimberly’s textured paper.
Gum prints over Kimberly's textured paper.
Gum prints over Kimberly’s textured paper.

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