Technical Guide to Gum Printing

by Calvin Grier

If you have worked in the Gum bichromate process for some time and want to take it to the next level, this book could be for you.

Buy “Technical Guide to Gum Printing” directly from Calvin Grier
Calvin Grier Techinical Guide to Gum printing
$49.95   for eBook – download direct.

Why buy it here?
When you choose the option to buy directly from the author, the book is shipped by the author ensuring most of the money goes to the author.

Suitable for the more experienced gum printer.

What is This Book?

This book includes detailed step-by-step instructions on how to use the gum process to make prints like those shown below. More importantly, we will take a deep dive into understanding the interconnected variables of the gum process. The objective is to supply you with the tools needed to either create a workflow from scratch or modify your current workflow to achieve a desired result. This book is not intended to be a complete guide to gum printing, but a supplement to current gum printing literature. I recommend using this book as a reference for solving problems or modifying your existing workflow to achieve the results you are looking for.

There are five parts to this book:

  • Part I is a freely available introduction.
  • Part II covers preparatory work for the main printmaking process, such as sizing paper, registration, and making negatives.
  • Part III has step-by-step tutorials on gum printing with brush or spray applied emulsions.
  • Part IV, which covers theory, is by far the most extensive section in this book and aims to minimize frustration in the learning process.
  • Part V is an overview of how the calibration methods, described in the book Calibration for Alternative Photographic Processes can be applied to calibrating a gum print.

2024 update

In 2024 the book will be updated, and if you have bought it before this date you will receive an automatic update. The big difference will be the use of the non-toxic alternative to dichromate called the PrintMaker’s Friend. You can view videos here already:

Is This Book for You?

New to gum printing
This book is meant to be a technical guide for people already familiar with the gum process, so some of the basic concepts about gum printing are omitted. If you are new to the process, I recommend starting with one of the modern books on gum printing or, better yet, taking a workshop with a gum printing expert like Christina Z. Anderson, Diana Bloomfield, Tony Gonzalez, Marek Wesołowski, or Ellie Young.

Other pigment-based processes
All pigment-based processes are closely related, so you can take information from this book and apply it to other processes. That’s how I learned gum printing in the first place. I simply applied the knowledge acquired through tens of thousands of hours of experience in carbon transfer printing to gum printing. Many of the working procedures and concepts in this book can be applied to other alternative processes, including gumoil, carbon transfer, direct carbon, and bromoil.

Novel printing methods
I outline solutions to several problems that, as far as I know, have not been solved before. It’s possible some of these methods were invented by someone else, and lost to time, or never made it into common practice. I also implement a couple of different working methods. All of these are covered in the book.

  • Sensitize an emulsion after spraying it on the paper. While not necessary, sensitizing the emulsion after brush coating has many advantages as well. I found three methods to achieve this.
  • Completely eliminate staining between layers. This creates prints with very vibrant colors and clean whites. With no staining, extended gamut printing becomes worthwhile, allowing gum printing to surpass just about any other pigment-based process such as color carbon printing or even inkjet printing in gamut.
  • Faster and much more precise development.
  • Reduce metameric color failure.

With this book you will have access to:

  • The results of testing LED light sources at 365nm, 375nm, 385nm, 395nm, 405nm, both cobs and strips, metal halide, and fluorescent tubes.
  • An Excel document to make calibration easier, along with curves and sample files.
  • The results of testing 30 different acrylic sizes
  • ICC profiles for color printing.
  • The results of testing different kinds of gum, brushes, additives, equipment, chemicals, and miscellaneous materials.
  • Recommendations for alternatives to dichromates.
  • Free access to future research that I am currently conducting. 

Download a preview the first pages here and read more about the book.

About Calvin Grier

Calvin Grier has taught carbon transfer printing to over 80 artists from 32 different countries in his studio in Valencia, Spain. Back in 2015, he spent two years dedicating 12 hours a day to learning the process, working through many obstacles, including figuring out how to accurately calibrate a print. In 2017 he opened The Wet Print atelier, and since then has worked with many photographers from enthusiasts to Oscar-winning DPs.

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