Maria Fernanda Pallares
Black & White Carbon Transfer Printing 2022
Carbon printing (also, "Carbon transfer") is a photography printing process that at the time served as a springboard for photogravure to achieve its beauty. They are like first cousins who can serve as a reference to each other. I am very grateful to Katayoun Dowlatshahi
@katayounpd at @silverwoodstudio.co.uk for taking the time to provide me with a carbon transfer workshop, for her generosity and her readiness in bringing content closer to my interests. It has been especially interesting for me to see how an artist with vast experience and immersed in multiple languages, works with such a technique. Although the workshop was dedicated to black and white printing, it was a precious opportunity to see something definitely very unlikely to find: a contemporary use of that technique in color. If you review her Instagram account, you will have an approach to those colour prints, whose work with various pigments requires more than a marathon. The image shows the making of gelatine papers, known as "tissue", a supply that both techniques share.
Photograph by Maria Fernanda Pallares
Three Colour Carbon Transfer Printing 2020
I thoroughly enjoyed my Carbon Transfer Printing workshop with Katayoun Dowlatshahi in rural Norfolk. I found Katayoun hugely knowledgeable and she extended my learning in so many additional ways. The workshop was professionally run and well organised, with plenty of useful handouts to take away.
Katayoun took me step by step through the process verbally before we created a print from one of my images. Some of this process is very technical and could have been disconcerting, but Katayoun has a calm manner and an organised system, which explains the most difficult aspects and reduces the sense of complexity.
Carbon Transfer is one of the more challenging of photographic historical processes, but if it is the longevity of the images you want, it is essential to have this process in your repertoire. I was amazed and impressed by the quality of our outcome. The precision paid off and is repeatable. Katayoun’s system does not rely on guesswork, but on a professional planned approach where creativity is in the original image.
One of the best things about a workshop with Katayoun is her high level of creative thinking in a general sense, so conversation during essential drying times in the process was inspirational.
In addition, I was able to stay in her B&B with ensuite, on the premises, which was extremely comfortable. Meals were provided during my workshop, all at a very reasonable price. I award five out of five stars for my five-day workshop. It provided the exact groundwork I needed to begin printing with this process myself.
Image: Photo credit Katayoun Dowlatshahi