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Thread: Gum pictures

  1. #1

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    Gum pictures

    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. #2
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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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. #3

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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. #4

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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. #5

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    [QUOTE=stephen_gray98;1241327]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[/QUOTE

    Heat will not fog your image unless it is hot enough to actually burn your skin, and even then I'm not sure. I've never seen heat fog. Ever.

  6. #6

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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. #7
    artonpaper's Avatar
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    So the dryer isn't causing the paper to shrink, one layer to the next?

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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. #9
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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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. #10

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

    SPG

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