Step by Step Gum Bichromate Printing
Those of you who have talked to me over the last few months know that I’m quite excited to be presenting the photography of Peter Liepke. We will be debuting this work with his first solo show “Cities and Dreams” on Thursday April 16 at Gallery 270 in Westwood from 7 PM to 9 PM.
Peter is an expert in two late 19th century printing methods; platinum/palladium and gum bichromate. They are both very involved and quirky methods that require the mastery of a highly skilled artisan. Though I knew the textbook definition of a gum bichromate print, I never realized how the process worked.
Peter was kind enough to spend an entire afternoon teaching and demonstrating this painstaking procedure. I thought since I did not fully understand the practice, that we would document some of the steps involved and show you how it is done with step by step photographs.
I also thought it would be perfect prelude to his upcoming show to attempt to show just how much work goes into a gum print.
Realize now that the pictures show just one layer of emulsion being completed. For most of Peter’s work he is laying down four or five layers of emulsion! And we are leaving out many small time consuming preparations that Peter made to simplify the demo prior to our arrival.
Enjoy the step by step photos and feel free to ask me any questions you may have about the gum bichromate process and Peter’s work. By all means do not miss the opportunity to meet this 21st Century “old world craftsman” who also makes his own frames from scratch.