Richard Puckett is based in Austin, Texas. He studied photography at the Cooper School of Art in Cleveland, Ohio. At the present he works exclusively with large format film cameras and contact prints in gold, platinum, palladium, and silver gelatin.
In the spring and summer of 2011, he photographed the sites of the battles of the Texas Revolution, in Gonzalez, Refugio, Goliad, San Antonio and San Jacinto. Dissatisfied with existing processes for printing with gold and seeking true photographic quality on a par with other metal-based prints, he invented the Texas Chrysotype process for the twenty-one images in his Texas Revolution in Gold series.
The Texas Chrysotype Process is a print out or develop out method that involves the addition of any one of several non-metallic chemicals to a standard solution of 40% ferric ammonium oxalate. This is then combined with an equal volume of 10% gold chloride and applied to dry watercolor paper, such as Arches Platine, Rives BFK, and Revere Patinum. The image can be exposed to UV for a fully printed out image typically immersed in ice cold water to prevent further darkening of the print in the first wash. The image can be underexposed by up to two stops and developed out in a hot water first wash. This technique produces slate images and stronger Dmax (when desirable). The image can also be underexposed and developed out in any of various acid solutions including citric, boric, and oxalic acids, to achieve different colors. Maximum tonal range is at least ten stops. Contrast is controlled with the dilution of oxalic acid in the first wash, with ammonium dichromate in the first wash, or by varying the amount of the additive to the ferric ammonium oxalate. With papers of approximately 240gsm to 310 gsm, relative humidity is irrelevant. Contrast, grain, and, typically, red or blue tones can be enhanced by pre-moistening the paper with a damp brush before applying the FAO and gold solution.
"I was about to give up on printing chrysotypes. Then the correct way to print with gold was revealed to me in a dream. I tried it, and it worked."
Richard's images are Texas Chrysotype Process contact prints (from the Texas Revolution in Gold: 21 Chrysotypes series).