This is probably my busiest art-related year ever. A number of things have fallen in to place, all at the same time. I’m a little saddened that it’s taken me further away from posting regularly, but on the other hand, it means that I have work like this that I can post when I have the chance.
Meet Monk E. Burnswell, of Frank’s Kitchens. I’ve accidentally found myself working with these great folks, as part of one of my “I want to do this someday” projects – photographing a build for the Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby.
This is both the largest and most successful of my gum prints to date – a 16″x10.5″ print, digitally composited from five distinct shots (both film and digital originals). I took many risks on this print, and it paid off.
First: this is printed on a half sheet of Stonehenge Rising White. Until this point, my largest gum print was a quarter sheet.
Second: I usually forego with the sizing, or cheat with acrylic/PVA sizing. Knowing that some day I’d want to “do gum right,” I sized a few full sheets of Stonehenge (white and warm white) last summer – multiple hits of gelatin, hardened with gluteraldehyde. And then they sat around for about 10 months, suriving the “great dimroom flood” last year. (Well, all but the one on top.)
Third: I winged it. I almost always studiously measure everything. This time, there was a lot of “yeah, that looks good” that went in to the printing. I changed gum in mid-print (ran out of higher-quality Windsor & Newton gum, had some Photo Formulary lower-grade opaque stuff). I changed pigments mid-print (ran out of Sennelier C/M/Y, switched to Schmincke Horadam).
I took some reasonable precautions, though – I printed two copies simultaneously, this one (which was to be the “beater” test image) and a slightly larger one (the sheets of warm white are a few inches larger). The larger image has problems in the dark gum areas that I don’t like as much. Go figure; the test image became the final print.
So, there you go. More in the pipeline. At least these only take weeks and not months like the casein/glass prints.