Gum pictures

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by stephen_gray98, Sep 27, 2011.

  1. stephen_gray98

    stephen_gray98 Member

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    Hello.

    Does anyone have any tips for speeding up the gum dichromate process ? I can only practice 1 hour a day on 4 days of the week which is making 3 colour prints rather long. Maybe I'm being hopeful but you never know .....

    SPG
     
  2. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    It really doesn't get faster. When I do gum, if I have an entire day available to print, I can get two layers on a single print done in a day if I'm being disciplined, and three if conditions are perfect and I'm putting in really long days. Three layers in a day is taking a big risk because it's really easy to screw up a layer and/or trash a negative by printing when it's still too wet.
     
  3. GumPhoto

    GumPhoto Member

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    The greatest logjam in the gumprinting process is waiting for the developed print to dry. Several years ago I started doing most of my printing on plywood, aluminum, and other non-absorbent substrates. With a hair drier clamped onto a tripod aimed at a slanted print, and working on 2-3 prints, you can literally have a dozen prints completed in a day. I've done it. Lately, I've reverted back to doing smaller prints on paper, and the process I've adopted to keep things speeding along is to use the very thin and inexpensive Masa paper drymounted to sheets of aluminum. The paper is so thin that it dries VERY quickly. No drymount press? You can still enjoy the speed of this paper by using a flexible support such as aluminum or plexiglass to grab the paper out of the water. As the paper clings to the surface, you can hang it up and dry it with a hairdryer, removing the paper and hitting it from the other side when the time is right (carefully! as the paper is as floppy as a paper towel!) Although I usually rip a 21x31" sheet into quarters, I have full sheet prints using this process.
     
  4. stephen_gray98

    stephen_gray98 Member

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    I'm going to try sizing, drying, first layer, drying, exposing in one go and see how it goes although I believe I need to keep the heat level right down or it may fog the image.

    SPG
     
  5. GumPhoto

    GumPhoto Member

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  6. stephen_gray98

    stephen_gray98 Member

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    Well it works great ! The hair dryer has saved loads of time. I've just got to practise getting the laying of the colour down smoothly first as quick drying it doesn't allow for this. I'm going to try a three colour print in one day if I get the chance although I'm using 140lb paper ....
    Thanks to all for the info.

    SPG
     
  7. artonpaper

    artonpaper Subscriber

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    So the dryer isn't causing the paper to shrink, one layer to the next?
     
  8. pjbtx

    pjbtx Member

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    Hello Stephen:

    Here are two ideas to help speed the process.

    1. Use 300lb or thicker paper and you might not need to preshrink—especially on smaller prints, say 11 x 14 or smaller.

    2. Use Fabriano Artistico with non-staining pigments and you can make excellent prints without adding additional size, thereby saving time, money, and effort.

    Peter J. Blackburn
     
  9. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    artonpaper- it shouldn't have TOO much effect on paper size if you've already pre-shrunk your paper before sizing it and coating the first layer. I've been using pre-shrunk Rives BFK for my prints and had no significant registration issues even up to five layers. I mostly air-dry but I do accelerate the process with a hair-dryer when I get antsy to move on to the next layer.
     
  10. stephen_gray98

    stephen_gray98 Member

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    We'll find out about shrinking but I use Fabriano Artistico (amongst others) 300lb and pre-shrink.

    SPG
     
  11. pjbtx

    pjbtx Member

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    Let me add the caveat that my processing times (soaking in water) for gum printing are less than 15 minutes—most times, less than 10. If you need to soak for longer time, then preshrinking might be needed.
     
  12. BenjaminAustin

    BenjaminAustin Member

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    FWIW

    I'm getting a show ready - 12 big prints. 4 Layers + each.

    I have room to develop 4 at a time.
    I'm working 4 days - so I have Fridays and the weekend to print.

    Preparing the paper (pre-shrinking and mounting to a board - Fabriano Artistico EW) 1/2 a day. Dries overnight.
    Next day - 2 hours to do a 1 shot gelatin + hardener brush size
    I do these in big batches as it is a pain.

    Printing :
    Thursday night 6pm - Yellow Layer - Dries in 30 minutes.
    8 mins exposure, 2 hours development. Dries overnight. Home at 10pm.

    Friday Morning - Magenta Layer - 3 hours. Left to dry overnight again.
    step/repeat for Saturday and Sunday.

    Only way I can get complete prints done without leaving half complete prints for a week...

    Very slow process. But strangely addictive.

    B