In 2011, I saw the Stieglitz, Steichen, Strand exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. Although I have been working primarily with the gum bichromate process for the past ten years, I was blown away by Steichen’s gum prints in the exhibit.
I was inspired and challenged to improve my own process for making gum prints. Immediately upon exiting the gallery, I went to the Met gift shop in the 19th Century wing and bought a small journal. I began writing notes for a new curve for making my gum negatives.
Over the course of the remaining spring semester at Queens College in Flushing, NY (and with the assistance of some exceptional QC students), I made numerous test prints from many negatives using a variety of curves. After lots of trial and error (including a 16 hour darkroom session which ended in a colossal failure), I achieved success in coming up with an air tight workflow for making gum prints which I will teach my students in the fall.
In an effort to share my research and experience with gum printing I also decided to start this blog…