3 Day Bespoke Workshop
Numbers limited to 2 people due to size of darkroom.
This workshop will be an introduction for complete beginners to single colour carbon printing. Carbon photography is a 19th century continuous tone pigment transfer system with gelatine and coloured pigments as the main constituents.
The underlying principal in this process is that once the chemical, potassium bichromate*, has been applied to the surface of the gelatine to make it light sensitive, the gelatine becomes insoluble in proportion to the amount of light received, on exposure to ultra violet light.
The exposed images can be transferred onto almost any prepared surface for development in hot water. The parts of the image that have not been exposed to UV dissolve in the water. The prints produced are archivally very stable and the tones rich and deep.
*Potassium Dichromate has now been replaced by a less toxic sensitizer called DAS.
Due to the fact that all the gelatine carbon tissues need to be produced by hand and allowed to dry before use, this workshop will be spread over three days to maximise production time.
You will learn the history, production techniques and safe handling of chemistry for Carbon. You will be instructed in the preparation of coloured carbon tissues, sensitisation, exposure and the transfer of the exposed image to another substrate for development in hot water. Due to the nature of the materials used, humidity, constituents and light can effect the materials in unpredictable ways. You will learn to identify problems and how to resolve them.
Digital or hand drawn negatives can be used to produce a positive image. There is an A2 printer in the studio which can print negatives onto a roll of Pictorico transparent film. You will learn to create the necessary photoshop curves as adjustments to your image in preparation for printing with Carbon.
£495 for 3 days, which includes a light lunch and the cost of all materials.
By arrangement, please contact me for further information.
The technique was invented in 1855 by Alphonse Louis Poitevin (1818-1894) and made available commercially by Joseph Wilson Swan (1823-1914) in 1864.
In the 19th century carbon printing was popular and was used extensively by museums and photographers as a means of making high quality permanent reproductions of silver gelatine photographs, paintings and drawings. A great many of Julia Margaret Cameron's photographs were produced as Carbon prints. Silver salts were still considered unstable at the time. It was a popular contact printing process but due to the fact that it could not be mechanised it fell out of commercial use in the 1930s and only a handful of people continued to use the technique.
There is a worldwide resurgence of interest in the process and with advances in production methods in recent years and the use of digital negatives, Carbon is once again becoming accessible for artists and photographers wishing to create high quality hand produced prints that look and feel unique.