RE: Good first alt process

From: Don Bryant ^lt;>
Date: 11/04/04-04:03:49 PM Z
Message-id: <>

Chris and Alistair and group,

> Alistair,
> Don Bryant is too much of a gentleman to brag about his work, but he and I
> have been working on gum offlist, and this morning I received images of
> his
> first attempts. FIRST attempts, mind you. I was reaaalllly impressed.
> So
> my advice to you is, don't take gum as being so hard. Ask Don about what
> he
> found difficult. Ask him to send you offlist his first try (he may not be
> ready yet to do this, but coax him; in fact, he is probably reading this
> and
> ready to KILL me right now).

Well now that you've outed me to the entire list as a newbie gum printer I
guess I'm compelled to make a few comments.

Without Chris's help via e-mail I'm sure my first shot at tri-color gum
would have been woefully inept. As things stand they should only be
considered as a moderately successful first stab at the process. But I have
been bitten with gum acacia bug and regard gum printing as a new (for me)
means for creating images (wish I could think of something pithier to say

I would also like to mention that exposure to the gum work shown at APIS '03
by Sam Wang, Kerik Kouklis, Stuart Melvin, Clay Harmon and Chris Anderson
certainly motivated me to take the plunge in to gum printing, I'm sorry it
took me so long. Actually Stuart Melvin's and Sandra Van Keuren's gum work
shown at APIS '01 was quite inspiring. Ditto for Ernestine Ruben's work. I
never forgot their work and often wanted to begin practicing gum as a result
of that exposure. A survey of all of these gum printers works quickly
reveals the wide expressive capabilities available with this process. It
runs the gamut, from straight to crooked photography, gum can be what you
want it to be, just look at Keith Gerling's web site for evidence of that.

Without the aid of a practiced eye and hand of a mentor or enrollment in a
gum workshop, gum is probably not the best first alternative printing
process to attempt. Like many alt. processes the mechanics of gum are pretty
straight forward, however successful gum printing in one's own darkroom
requires a minimum skill set common to most alt process printing regimes,
such as coating paper, paper selection, working with actinic light sources
and so on. These are skills that can be acquired; there are several good
sources that give the budding gum printer many of the basic instructions to
the process. Judy Seigel's Post Factory Journal first comes to mind. The
entire set can be purchased which have several detailed gum articles.
Christopher's James book has a ton of gum material. David Scopic's book
should be included as well. There are also good articles found on Ed
Buffaloe's Unblinking Eye website.

For the elitists among the group that have DSL connections I will e-mail you
the scans of my first prints if anyone wants to see them. In the meantime
I'll try to create a simple web page where the may be viewed for a while
with details of making the prints.

Don Bryant
Received on Thu Nov 4 16:04:05 2004

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