• Grant Handgis

"Sedona Mesas" ~ Gum over Palladium Print

It has been a busy time for me lately, pulling me away from the ability for daily printing. This print, just finished is a second attempt to print this image. As noted in an earlier post, a wrong touch be me when the first print was finished pulled off a chunk of gum and of course the print is junk. Turns out, this ran was far more successful, not only a better rendition of the image but also printed with half the print runs. Each printing teaches the printer another facet of the technique.

Also as noted too many times to count, gum printing allows the most personal touch, or artist's 'hand', being there are so many variables to play with in bum printing to mention except in a book, which will be forthcoming, hopefully by this fall. The fifth and final book in the "Alchemist's Guide;" series, Gum and gum over palladium printing. That is the book that I have been waiting to get to, after the first four were in print, which they are now.

This print will also be the last of the gum over palladium prints for awhile. Although the gum over palladium printing is a favorite, there is something I have been working out in my head for a long time. Photographic Impressionism. I've had Claude Monet's "Impression, Sunrise" painting in my head for months and I just know that technique can be replicated with gum printing. I wasn't about to jump into that pit until I knew I could at least outrun whatever was in the pit. How does one find their own 'hand' at rendering a gum print image in the Impressionist style, in a unique way? Well, that's what I intend on finding out.

As the dictum goes; The master will appear, when the student is ready. One knows when it's the right time to act when the way is opened without trying to Push the River. Having completed this print, and the portfolio of gum over palladium prints, the answer arrived in the form of a mental melding of Monet's painting and the avenue available to arrive at something that would be akin to that style. Regardless of how.... interesting the print trials I will be doing may be, I will post the results, if for no other reason than for the entertainment value.

One further variable added to the new printing style being choice of paper, and sizing. Whereas I have traditionally used Arches hot press paper, pre-shrinking, then two sizing dips, I have been using Hahnemuhle paper for the gum over palladium prints, being that is a very nice printing paper for palladium or Silver printing. I have had such good results with that paper that I made the leap to thinking applying a gum layer on that paper wouldn't be all that much different than applying palladium solution. The first print layer I printed this afternoon seems to back that theory up, with a very nice base run of a soft Cerulean Blue Hue color. The subsequent color additions will be applied in an impressionistic fashion, dobs or streaks of color overlapping other dobs or streaks of color. I really can't even begin to know how that might turn out, yet. Soon though.

This gum over palladium print was made on Hahnemuhle paper, pre-shrunk, palladium print first then five layers of gum colors printed on top. My print time, using a negative printed on an Epson 1430 printer to Arista acetate film, with my own adjustment [Na2 <curve>] is 14-16 minutes, depending on whatever tonal range I'm printing to. Printing in my UV printer that is. 160W ~ Light Source 6" from table top, minus print frame height.

Gum over Palladium Print

"Sedona Mesas" ~ 8x10 ~ Unique

Sedona, Arizona ~ 1985

1 view

g. Michael Handgis Photography


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