Re: Magnani Pescia et al.. for gumprinting

From: Katharine Thayer ^lt;[email protected]>
Date: 10/25/05-04:43:07 AM Z
Message-id: <>

It's also worth remarking that Rives BFK comes in at least two versions.
There's a regular BFK, and a BFK Heavyweight, which is not only slightly
heavier in weight (280 gm/m^2 vs 250 gm/m^2) but also more heavily
sized. I once had a theory that maybe it was that people who didn't like
BFK as well, like me, were using the regular BFK and people who liked it
better, perhaps, were using the heavyweight BFK, but Chris blew that
theory out of the water by saying it was the regular BFK that worked
well for her.

But, working through the virtual folders of alt-photo posts that I've
saved over the years (which I've never found terribly useful and 99% of
which will be left to "rot" in the dead computer; the only things I'm
printing out to save are posts of my own which will be useful in the
next revision of my website) I notice that I see the first reference to
Chris's move to a more diluted dichromate in November 2003, and perhaps
that change may account for the difference in paper recommendations. It
may very well just be a coincidence and Chris will have a different
explanation I'm sure, but it isn't the first time that I have wondered
whether it's the difference in the dichromate concentrations we use that
leads to such radically different observations about the behavior of
papers, sizings, hardeners, and combinations thereof.

Katharine Thayer wrote:
> Judy Seigel wrote:
> >
> Rives BFK
> > was for YEARS the no-fail paper we started all students on. Lately these
> > pages ring with its faults... I assume it, too, has changed.
> >
> Judy,
> Your point about paper changing over time is well taken, and my remarks
> about Pescia refer to older paper.
> But as for the BFK -- I don't know how far back you're talking about BFK
> being considered a no-fail paper, but 15-17 years ago when I was
> experimenting with a lot of different papers, BFK was the only paper
> that wouldn't reliably clear for me when printed unsized. But on the
> other hand, as recently as June 16, 2003 (it was pure serendipity that I
> came across this post this morning as I was looking through my
> alternative photo mail folders for anything I want to keep, in
> preparations for shutting down my old system) Chris liked BFK well
> enough to recommend it to a beginning printer who was having difficulty
> making a successful gum print. Whether Chris has found that the paper
> has changed since 2003, or whether it's something about Chris's practice
> or standards that makes her now say that BFK "sucks" is a question Chris
> would have to answer for herself. But I'd guess from comments made here
> that a significant number of other gum printers are using today's BFK
> quite successfully. In a recent experiment of my own, I found that BFK
> printed quite well with one coat of size, hardened with glyoxal, but
> this piece of BFK was purchased a while back.
> I've been trying to imagine what famous gum printer might have said that
> BFK is "unsuitable" for gum printing; my suspicions led me to Stephen
> Livick's manual, dated 2000, which states, "Although one of the most
> recommended papers for gum printing, DO NOT USE RIVES BFK watercolor
> paper [emphasis in original], it is too soft and does not hold up well
> in the water." This statement does not correspond with my own
> observations. I can't claim a huge amount of experience with the paper,
> but when I have printed on it, I have found its wet strength and
> integrity similar to other common gum printing papers.
> Katharine
Received on Tue Oct 25 11:38:52 2005

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