Our last workshop was dedicated to the Gum Bichromate printing, part of our “Alternative photography” series. The Gum Print is based on the light sensitivity of chromium salts. If you mix them with colloids like gum, they harden when they are exposed to light. If you look at a gum print, the darker the picture, the ticker the deposit of gum. The whiter the picture, the more you are getting towards the actual paper. The image itself have a slight relief.
When photography established as a fine art form, artist started to use pigment processes. That naturally involve a lot of hand work and craftmanship. You really had a sense of the photographic object as something that was made by somebody. Pigment processes are a complicated medium, forming photography not just an automatic activity that produces images, but creates artistic imput in the process.
The pigments, the sensitizer, the negative, the registration, the paper, the gum proportion, the water temperature – just a small part of all the variables, that we met during the workshop. Certanly on of the most complicated printing methods we have done, two weeks ago we menaged to produce 3-layered and 4-layered color gum bichromate images, that are not perfect, but still very charming. And yet there is still so much to learn about this technique. So be patient, have fun and don’t try to conquer the process!

This workshop has happened thanks to Nikola Dyulgyarov and is part of “Alternative Photography Processes” project, implemented with the financial support of the National Culture Fund, Bulgaria.