Fresson Process -

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by Marc Akemann, Jan 1, 2008.

  1. Marc Akemann

    Marc Akemann Subscriber

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    Does anyone here on APUG work with the Fresson process? Ever since I saw Sheila Metzner's elegant photograph, "Uma, Patou Dress and Hat", a few years ago, I've been interested in the process but finding out how to do it is a little difficult, as is, apparently, the process itself.

    Yesterday, I found an excellent copy of the "Handbook of Alternative Photographic Processes" by Jan Arnow. In the book under "Pigment Processes" is a description on how to do "The Fresson Print"! I haven't read through it yet, but I was wondering if anyone here has experience with this color alternative process?

    Marc
     
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  2. AllenR

    AllenR Member

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    Contact the folks at Bostick & Sullivan. Someone gave a presentation on his efforts with the Fresson process at the 2005 APIS gathering, but I do not remember his name.
     
  3. payral

    payral Member

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  4. AllenR

    AllenR Member

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    One thing I forgot to mention is that the actual details of the Fresson process are still a closely guarded secret, held by the folks who still make Fresson prints. Here is their link:

    http://www.atelier-fresson.com/home.htm

    The presentation at APIS was about this gentleman's efforts to develop a similar process.
     
  5. Mudar

    Mudar Member

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    Here some Fresson Quadrichromie prints they made for me!
     

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  6. Marc Akemann

    Marc Akemann Subscriber

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  7. Marc Akemann

    Marc Akemann Subscriber

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    I think Art Chakalis may be the person who did the presentation on the Fresson process at the 2005 APIS. All I could find so far on Google regarding the 2005 APIS gathering was this little tidbit: "Art Chakalis – Will give us an update on the secrets of the Fresson Process." Nothing more. Looks like I'll be doing a little research tonight.

    It seems that people are dabbling with this process, or, at least discussing it. I'm just wondering where Jan Arnow came up with her version of the Fresson process? I suppose I could try to find her and ask.

    Also, the book I just purchased for $17, and is the spark that started this thread, ("Handbook of Alternative Photographic Processes" by Jan Arnow) is selling elsewhere on the web from about $75US to $350! I nice late Christmas present. :smile:

    ....the search for more info continues. Thanks for the replies thus far!

    Marc
     
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  8. Marc Akemann

    Marc Akemann Subscriber

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    Wow! Pretty cool! They don't make prints for just anybody! Thanks for showing your Fressons! How many have they done for you?

    Marc
     
  9. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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    I think I first saw Fresson prints at an AIPAD show a few years ago. I was very impressed! But, as mentioned above, the process is a proprietary one and it's essence is secret.
     
  10. AllenR

    AllenR Member

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    Yes, Art Chakalis is the name that I was trying to remember.

    As for dabbling in the process, from what I remember of Mr. Chakalis's presentation this is a very complex process. The one thing that really caught my attention was that development is an abrasive process, with a slurry containing abrasive material being flowed over the exposed print at the correct flow rates & temperatures. The equipment involved was all designed and built my Mr. Chakalis. Since he was working with a monochrome emulsion, I imagine the complexity would increase by a couple orders of magnitude for color images.
     
  11. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I've seen some Fresson prints at the John Stevenson Gallery (now closed, I believe--I'd heard he was only doing private sales now), and it is a beautiful process, only available from Fresson. I'd heard it involved sawdust, which is something we don't get to use so often.
     
  12. Marc Akemann

    Marc Akemann Subscriber

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    I think you're right about the JS Gallery, David. I found the website but there's nothing really new there. Looks like their last exhibition ended in May of '07. The Fresson prints you saw may very well have been Sheila Metzner's whose print I mentioned in the original post. For what it's worth, here is that print:
    http://designarchives.aiga.org/entry.cfm/eid_10530

    AllanR and David, you're both correct about the abrasive process of the development. According to Arnow's book, "...soluble gelatine and pigment are actually abraded away from the support by a soution of water and fine sawdust." She goes on to say, "True to the original motive for the creation of Fresson printing, no transfer takes place; the image is developed right on the support. Therefore the image is not reversed."

    Well, if the process is proprietary and the essence secret, as 'jovo' mentioned (I still don't know names yet, sorry jovo), then perhaps I should leave well enough alone and just take in and enjoy a Fresson whenever I see one.

    Thanks for everyone's help.

    Marc
     
  13. Akki14

    Akki14 Member

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    Odd; I only glanced over the technics page on it but it sounds like gum bichromate process to me, or at least they mention exposure to UV light and washing out dichromate stains. You can use a brush or the like to loosen the unexposed paint in gum bichromate process as well, so the sawdust/abrasive thing doesn't sound that out of the question either.
     
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  15. clay

    clay Subscriber

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    I heard Art's lecture at APIS, and he is getting close on his recreation of a Fresson-like direct carbon process. It sounds daunting. He described an emulsion composed of both gelatin and gum along with the pigment. And apparently the whole coating process is very sensitive to temperature - it sounded like his version had an ideal band of temperature that was about 2-3 degrees wide. He had some examples with him, and they were comparable to the Fresson examples, with just slight differences in texture and tonal smoothness. Art has apparently either applied for, or gotten patents on his process.
     
  16. doughowk

    doughowk Subscriber

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    There was a rather extensive, recent discussion of the Fresson process among the alt photo process group (a ListServe discussion group). You may be able to search their archives.
     
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  17. Marc Akemann

    Marc Akemann Subscriber

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    This is what I found so far on the 'alt photo process group':
    http://tinyurl.com/ysbv5h
    Thanks for the link Doug.

    Marc
     
  18. Marc Akemann

    Marc Akemann Subscriber

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    Yep, I agree. In Arnow's book, the the Gum Bichromate Print and the Fresson Print are both listed in the chapter entitled 'Pigment 'Processes'. Other processes listed in this chapter are carbon, carbro, oil, bromoil, dusting-on, anthracotype, nigrographic and the true-to-scale print.

    Marc
     
  19. Bill Mitchell

    Bill Mitchell Member

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    Personally, I've always thought that Fresson prints look pretty crappy compared with Dye Transfers (or even Cibachromes).
     
  20. Mudar

    Mudar Member

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    Here some literature about Fresson Printing:

    -The Direct Carbon or Fresson Process (The Photographic Journal: May/June 1978) by C. Badrinathan, MSc, PhD, ARPS and C. Rajagopal, FRPS, APSA.

    -The Fresson Process by Tom Champion. Arizona State University 1986

    -The Fresson Process. The Roland Collection of Films on Art. 30 min VHS video.

    Kind regards,

    Jeroen
     
  21. Marc Akemann

    Marc Akemann Subscriber

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    Hartelijk dank, Jeroen.

    :smile:

    Marc
     
  22. lallan

    lallan Member

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    David, you are correct John Stevenson has 'closed'. The gallery is now on 27th st (?) and only open by appointment and has a permanent exhibit of painting hanging.
     
  23. kevs

    kevs Member

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    Hi,

    I saw this thread and looked in up in my ‘bible’, Sowerby, A.L.M. (ed.) (1961) Dictionary of Photography: A Reference Book for Amateur and Professional Photographers 19th ed. London: Iliffe Books Ltd. (pp 38-39). This book describes Artigue’s or Fresson Process as “A method of carbon printing without transfer, as invented by M. Artigue of Paris”. It gives a working method due mostly to a M. Duchochois for which it claims, if carefully followed, gives results very similar to M. Artigue’s “Papiers Velours”. I don’t want to copy the whole article so I shall summarise as best I can. I hope the following will help you and others wanting to work this process.

    In 15 parts of water, dissolve 5 pieces of white and carefully picked gum Arabic – you should select the “round and slightly friable lumps”. Dissolution can sometimes take days. Strain the mucilage through muslin and add 100 parts of egg white and enough “…Indian ink or other finely ground water-colour sufficient to give a coating on paper, which shall be nearly full black or full coloured by reflected light, but not so opaque as altogether to obscure a coin behind the paper when both are held up to the window”. Make the mixture “slightly alkaline to test paper” by stirring in liquid ammonia. “…A minimum of two drops to each fluid ounce may be added anyway”. The preparation is now ready for coating onto paper.

    “A fine paper, such as “Rives” should be used, and this should be coated with a film of plain gelatine before applying the pigmented mixture”. This may consist of one part of hard gelatine to eight parts of water. “Soak [the gelatine], strain [the dissolved gelatine] through muslin into a warmed porcelain dish”. Do not allow the gelatine to cool. Float each sheet of paper for an instant and dry. The paper is now ready for coating. Brush on a thin layer of the Indian ink mixture using a broad camel’s-hair brush.

    To sensitise the paper, float it “face upwards, on a solution of ammonium bichromate containing one part of the salt dissolved in between 10 and 20 parts of water”. “The criterion is the penetration of the bichromate to the surface of the paper, and when this is the case the pigmented film can be rubbed off by gentle action of the finger”. Dry the paper then expose under a negative “until details are visible at the back” (presumably meaning the back of the negative).

    Development varies and depends upon “atmospheric conditions and other circumstances which affect the solubility of the pigmented film”. We are then directed to follow the methods used in developing a gum-bichromate print, from which I quote:

    “The exposed print is now soaked in cold water, and if the colour soon begins to wash off the paper on rocking the dish, under-exposure is indicated; and in this case cold water alone may finish the development.

    According to the behaviour of the print, warmer and warmer water may be used, and to increase the detergent power of the water a stream may be poured from a height on the surface of the print. When the development is complete, the print may be soaked in an alum bath, after which it is allowed to dry”. (p. 359).

    Back to page 39, we are told: “When the basis is smooth paper coated with gelatine, it becomes almost essential to adopt M. Artigue’s expedient of developing with a soup-like mixture of ground sawdust and water”. This can be of any wood, but should be either ground in a roller mill or sifted through a No.12 sieve (12 meshes to a linear inch). Mix with water at the required temperature to “the consistency of soup”, flush this over the pigmented surface until development is completed.

    If the O.P. wishes, I can scan the full article; post it to my webspace and P.M. the U.R.L.

    HTH,
    kevs
     
  24. Stephen Frizza

    Stephen Frizza Member

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    I have a book called HISTORY and PRACTICE OF CARBON PROCESSES BY LUIS NADEAU which has a segment holding a ton of information on the Fresson process if anyone would like any of this information don't hesitate to contact me.

    ~Steve
    The Lighthouse lab
     
  25. Marc Akemann

    Marc Akemann Subscriber

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    Thank you very much for taking the time to summarize the info you have. I would love to see the full article!

    There is a slight difference in materials between M. Duchochois' version and the version in the book I just purchased. Duchochois' recipe is like a mix between gum bichromate and carbon processes, I believe. Maybe the Fresson process is, too.
     
  26. Marc Akemann

    Marc Akemann Subscriber

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    Thanks Steve! I'll PM you for the info.

    Here's an interesting link that leads to how Luis Nadeau acquired the equipment to make the Fresson paper: http://www.apogeephoto.com/mag7-6/ortiz_echague.shtml .

    Marc