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BLACK & WHITE AND COLOUR, CARBON PRINTING WORKSHOPS

3 DAY workshop /

Single and Double Transfer Black & White Carbon printing

1to1 or 2 people attending

6 DAY workshop /

Both Colour and Black & White Carbon Printing 1to1

 

7 DAY workshop /

Both Colour and Black & White Carbon Printing for 2 people

Dates

By direct arrangement, please email me for further information and I will email you a program. You can't book via the website.

Depending on which option you choose this workshop will be an introduction for complete beginners and those with some experience to black & white, colour carbon printing or both. The workshop can be tailored to your needs.

Please do read the workshop testimonials / reviews to read what other participants have said about their experience of the workshops.

A CARBON TRANSFER PRINT, also known as a Carbon pigment print, is a unique handmade work of art. It is a pigment and gelatine based photographic process, renowned for its remarkable beauty and archival stability because of the use of pigments over dyes. It has rich shadows, wide tonal range, sharp definition, richness of colour rendition and is considered to be the finest of all the photographic processes. A 19th century technique that was first invented in 1855, it is highly sought after by collectors. Though only a handful of artists worldwide practice it professionally. It is currently experiencing a revival with artists and photographers seeking a high-quality analogue alternative to digital production.

The underlying principal in this process is that once the light reactive chemical*  has been applied to the gelatine, it will harden the substance once exposed to ultra violet light. When using a negative the hardened gelatine will be in proportion to the amount of light received. The image is then developed in hot water to melt away the soft unexposed parts of the image. This is a contact printing method and therefore the negative has to be the same size as the print.

 

The developed image can then be transferred to a temporary support before being transferred once again to a final support such as paper, glass or metal. In three colour carbon this could be a triple transfer procedure or as a double transfer. The prints produced are archivally very stable with a high gamut and long tonal range, which are rich and deep with a visible relief to them.

*Potassium Dichromate was the traditional sensitizer but highly toxic and regulations in the UK make it difficult to use without a licence. However a safer alternative is available which is less toxic and which is much more stable called DAS.

All materials are produced from scratch. You will be instructed in the preparation of black and coloured carbon tissues and their sensitisation and will make enough to take some away with you, ready to use.

 

You will undertake 9 step and 21 step tonal and colour calibrations and learn to produce digital correction curves for image files, ready to send to an imagesetter service.

The temporary and final supports, will need to be prepared in advance of printing, however, you will learn to make all preparations during the workshop.

I will provide you with an introduction to the history of Carbon Photography, production techniques, problem solving and the safe handling of chemistry. You will be guided through the use of a pin registration system and a light exposure unit with a vacuum table. Once exposed the transfer of the exposed image to a temporary or final surface for development will be 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 Calibration

As we will be working with a package called CALIBRATION FOR ALTERNATIVE PHOTOGRAPHIC PROCESSES produced by The Wet Print, I would highly recommend purchasing this excellent and comprehensive online workshop in advance. The price is extremely reasonable at 59.95€. We will produce step tablets and calibration prints to measure with a spectrophotometer. I will guide you through the various steps. 

Cost / price per person:

£300 per day for single and double transfer work over three days is £900 + VAT, which includes all materials.

£290 per day for single, double and triple transfer work over six days is £1740 + VAT, which includes all materials. 

For the 6 day workshop, I suggest an extra uncharged day is factored in to the schedule to allow your prints to dry. This would be an opportunity to have explore the area.

2 People attending a workshop:
£220 per day, per person for single, double and triple transfer work over seven days is £1540

This amounts to a 20% discount pp.

Full board accommodation:

Full board accommodation can be provided at £110 per day in our home, to include breakfast, lunch and dinner.  The double bedroom is en-suite in our 400 year old converted Norfolk barn. Alternatively there are a number of guest houses locally, I can provide a list of suggested venues. You would however need your own transportation, as there is no direct bus service to our house.

Imagesetter Negatives:

 

There would be an additional charge as these are ordered from an external supplier and the price would depend on the size of the image to be printed. To achieve the finest result for your black and white image, three negatives are needed. For colour 8 negatives are needed.

 

History

The technique was invented in 1855 by Alphonse Louis Poitevin (1818-1894), improved on and subsequently 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 practice the technique.

 

In recent years there has been a worldwide resurgence of interest in the process and with advances in production methods 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. Carbon printing is to date the most archival printing method ever invented.

 

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