M O B I L E P H O T O W O R K S H O P S
Lecturer: JERZY GAWEL (KSA Krakow, PL)
Dr. Jerzy Gawel is founder and director of the School of Creative Photography at KSA in Cracow, Poland where he is teaching fashion photography, nude and gumprinting. As a freelance photographer he works also in fashion industry as well for public institutions producing pictures for adverts and catalogues: his 8 pictures where published on billboards across the country (Poland) and in July, 2018 he worked for the Polish National Museum shooting models for the exhibition Polish Design after 1989.
ABOUT THE GUM PRINTING
Gum printing is a technique of refined print used mainly by pictorial photographers at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries, e.g. Robert Demachy and Edward Steichen. Gum print is characterised by its fuzzy passages and gentle relief, thus evoking of a painting.
Gum print technique is based on light sensitivity of the solution of Arabic gum and potassium dichromate. After application of the coloured solution onto a paper, and its subsequent drying, a negative is copied in daylight through contact. Through washing in water the colouring is removed from the unlit parts, and chromate salt is drifted. This process does not enable achieving wide tone range in a single application; therefore, it is necessary to repeat it, as well as gumming the paper.
Current gum printing needs the base: to have a negative made – plan film in a format 30x40cm from any film or a digital photograph. A plan film serves as a base for “reprinting“ the photograph on a specially adjusted aquarelle paper. It is necessary for the plan film to be printed with high contrast, since the subsequent process of gum print requires relatively high contrast.
As the lecturer says: “Print of one quality gum during the workshop is a tremendous success for a beginner.“
The whole alchemy of gum printing is a complicated process, but if one follows the lecturer’s instructions, it is easily performed, and its result is a little piece of art with high durability. It is very difficult to make one quality gum print in one day, since if depends on the process of drying and application of few layers, which is required by the chemical process.