Carbon Printing…

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I feel very privileged that I was able to visit David Chalmers last weekend and take part in his Carbon Printing workshop.  As you can see from the pictures David’s demonstration was really comprehensive.  Once I had a good feel for the process, it was my turn to expose and develop a print or two, culminating with real beauty on cotton rag paper.

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Preparing the Glop. (Technical Term)

 

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Pouring.

 

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Spreading.

 

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The new tissue.

 

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Transferring the latent image.  (it’s impossible not to smile)

 

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Developing the image.

 

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Cleaning the image.

 

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This image shows the exaggerated three dimensionality of the surface, when dry the effect is still there but reduced.  It is a key feature of the carbon process.

 

I also had the chance to make my own carbon tissue, with supervision which, David posted to me when it was dry and sensitised.  I’ll post the results, fingers crossed as soon as I get em.

The process is not itself a silver based process, a pigment impregnated gelatine tissue is contact printed.  Where it is exposed, the gelatin hardens and where it isn’t it can be washed away.  This magic trick at the heart of the process has enabled the production of some of my favourite works and it has been a long-held desire to have a go.

For examples search for works by Herbert Ponting, Julia Margaret Cameron and Edward Steichen.

It is always faster to learn from an expert and to get this far so quickly proves David’s status.  I am under no illusions though, it is an exacting process as it’s all about the attitude of the gelatin and related mysterious forces.

David’s carbon printing site is here.

 

 

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