Gum prints are essentially photographically controlled watercolor prints made in a 19th century process called gum bichromate. Gum Arabic is mixed with watercolor paint and photosensitive ammonium dichromate, and painted onto paper. When exposed to light in contact with an enlarged negative, the gum Arabic hardens into an image that is “developed” in plain water.
Cyanotype or the “blueprint” process is probably one of the most well-known 19th century processes ever. It is an easy process to learn and perfect in combination with tricolor gum.
The workshop will center on simple digital negatives, so a laptop with Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, or Lightroom plus rudimentary knowledge of one of these programs (for example, sizing, sharpening, cropping images, even maybe knowing how to add a curve) is important. So is bringing lots of color digital images to choose from. Aside from a few simple supplies from home (teaspoons, hair dryer, towel, apron, and the like) the rest of the supplies will be covered under a class fee, including multiple pigment colors with which to experiment.
Participants tend to work from 9AM–9PM, with some early birds and night owls working longer. By the time the workshop ends, all should be comfortable with these processes to hit the ground running when returning home.
About the Instructor
Christina Z. Anderson’s work focuses on the family snapshot, gender identity, the altered landscape, and the contemporary vanitas printed in a variety of 19th century photographic processes, primarily gum and casein bichromate, salted paper, cyanotype, and mordançage. Anderson’s work has shown internationally in 110+ shows and 40+ publications. Anderson has authored books which have sold in 40 countries—The Experimental Photography Workbook, Gum Printing and Other Amazing Contact Printing Processes, Gum Printing, A Step by Step Manual Highlighting Artists and Their Creative Practice, Salted Paper Printing, A Step-by-Step Manual Highlighting Contemporary Artists, and her newest release Cyanotype: The Blueprint in Contemporary Practice. Anderson is Series Editor for Focal Press/Routledge’s newly-formed Contemporary Practices in Alternative Process Photography series. Anderson is Professor of Photography at Montana State University. To see her work, visit christinaZanderson.com.