Gum prints are essentially photographically controlled watercolor prints made in a 19th Century process called gum bichromate. Gum Arabic is mixed with watercolor paint and photosensitive ammonium dichromate, and painted onto paper. When exposed to light in contact with an enlarged negative, the gum Arabic hardens into an image that is “developed” in plain water. Casein, a colloid like gum, is practiced in much the same way so two processes can be learned for the “price of one!” The workshop will center on simple digital negatives, so a laptop with Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, or Lightroom plus rudimentary knowledge of one of these programs (for example, sizing, sharpening, cropping images, even maybe knowing how to add a curve) is important. So is bringing lots of color digital images to choose from. Aside from a few simple supplies from home (teaspoons, hair dryer, towel, apron, and the like) the rest of the supplies will be covered under a class fee, including multiple pigment colors with which to experiment. Participants tend to work from 9AM–9PM, with some early birds and night owls working longer. By the time the workshop ends, all should be comfortable with these processes to hit the ground running when returning home.
Christina Z. Anderson is an Associate Professor of Photography at Montana State University, Bozeman, where she specializes in alternative and experimental process photography. Her work, which centers on the social and spiritual landscape, has been exhibited internationally in over 75 shows as well as numerous publications. She has authored several books, two of which have sold worldwide—The Experimental Photography Workbook and Gum Printing and Other Amazing Contact Printing Processes. Her web address is christinaZanderson.com.