Gum bichromate process is so simple in the concept, yet most controversial in the practice. Since the original invention of dichromated colloid printing by Poitevin in 1855 there has been just as many gum bichromate methods as there are photographers. There are infinite variations in the process. Monochrome or duochrome images can be obtained in an amazing variation of tones as well as more complex images containing multiple colors. Images are typically made by layering different colors on top of each other. The beauty of the process lies in the fact that a huge number of color pigments are available and can be used.
I have been printing gum bichromates for close to 30 years and doing research for just as many. There are still inventions to be had in the process. The holy grail of gum printing is to make luminous prints with high color saturation. My current project is taking me in this direction. I hand-paint different watercolor backgrounds and merge them with floral photographs. Flowers come often from my garden. Each print is unique as it is made over several days and mixing chemistry and coating is done by hand. I display the border as kind of fingerprint of my work, showing layers and pigments. Frequently cyanotype is used as a blue layer.
My ultimate goal is to make prints that look like watercolors and blur the boundary between painting and photography. Instead of brush as in traditional watercolor, I have used light to create these images.
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