The Old Made New: Richard Eugene Puckett’s Dry Print-Out Processes with Gold, Palladium, and Platinum

by Richard Puckett

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The Old Made New
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The formulas for dry print out – no development, no humidification – of the Texas Chrysotype.

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About the book

The Old Made New presents the formulas for dry print out — no development, no humidification — of the following seven processes:

The Texas Chrysotype:With just 3, 4 or 5 drops of 1% vitamin C added to 10 ml of ammonium ferric oxalate, print grainless, continuous tone prints in pure gold with a range of approximately eleven stops. With no development or paper hydration, the Texas Chrysotype yields superb dmax, excellent highlight details, and rich three dimensionality. With the uncompromising technical quality of this low-cost process, gold has finally taken its place between platinum and palladium as an expressive medium for artists.
The Karytype (illustrated on the manual cover, left): never before has anyone printed just gold and platinum together. It wasn’t possible before this hybrid gold-platinum process, the first entirely new photographic printmaking formula in the one hundred years since William Willis patented the silver-platinum Satista print. A Karytype is sensuousness in chemistry, the exquisite images it forms arising from alchemical magic. Gold’s beauty is enhanced; platinum’s generosity and luminosity enriched.
The Fannintype: dry print-out platinum that requires no humidification or development. Even better, for purists, no palladium is added to the sensitizer. The formula borrows heavily on Pizzighelli’s second process from 1892, but thanks to the addition of vitamin C to the ammonium ferric oxalate, dispenses with paper hydration.
Four Ziatype+ Processes: palladium, palladium-platinum, palladium-gold, and palladium-gold-platinum can now all be printed out with no concern for hydrating the paper. Mix the solution, brush it onto the paper, dry it completely in the dark and print it out. The only way to make the nobles easier to print would be to come up with self-clearing formulas!

The Old Made New is 61 photo-illustrated pages. The text is printed in a slightly larger than normal font, on coated paper that resists chemical stains, and the book is spiral bound to lie flat — all features chosen to enhance its practicality for workroom use. This manual provides straightforward, step-by-step instructions for printing images with all of the above processes. It discusses exactly which papers are known to work with each process and which are known not to work. And it does not matter whether you use a film negative, an imagesetter negative, or an inkjet negative.


About Richard

Richard Eugene Puckett spent months trying to nudge gold prints toward true pictorial quality, free of the strong red cast, the grain, and the narrow latitude characteristic of chrysotypes. The night before he intended to abandon his efforts to print pictorial images in gold, he dreamed the answer to the problems in printing with gold: Two sluices were carrying molten iron and molten gold into a cauldron, where the metals mingled to form a magical alloy. On awaking, Puckett realized that heat breaks ammonium ferric oxalate down to ammonium ferrous oxalate, which is the same process that occurs in the presence of UV light. He understood his dream had told him to convert some of the ferric iron in the sensitizer to ferrous iron. Knowing that ascorbic acid — vitamin C — is routinely used to do the just that, he prepared a weak solution of vitamin C and began testing the image-forming properties of gold mixed with ammonium ferro-ferrous oxalate at varying proportions of the two irons. Before lunch, Puckett was not only printing the first grainless, pictorial photographs in gold, but doing so with no need to hydrate the paper. With further research over the ensuing months, he succeeded in dry print out of platinum, palladium, and a new hybrid, gold-platinum.

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