Carbon Transfer Printing


New experimentation with Metal as a final support

I am continuing to learn about Carbon Transfer Printing, one of the earliest photographic processes dating back to the 1860s, that provided the first permanent printing methods.  This technique requires an enormous amount of patience and time with the expectation of few “successes”.  I saw my first monochrome Carbon Print made by Stuart Clook of stones.   I was struck by the extraordinary sense of depth the print showed and the range of subtle tones.  I was determined to try this technique out.  This has been a long learning process with help and encouragement by email from Stuart Clook Christchurch Photographer and expert in 19th century photographic print making processes, Ellie Young practicing artist and teacher of alternative photographic processes, and Founder and Director of Gold Street Studios in Melbourne, the centre for alternative photographic print processes in Australia and New Zealand, and from the book  “Carbon Transfer Printing, authored by Sandy King, Don Nelson and John Lockhart – my go to bible.

Recently I am using aluminium as a final support-as sublimated gold, silver and bronze which gives a totally new look to the final print

Stage 1 : Make the Carbon “tissue”- a temporary support for the melted gelatin, carbon, and sugar mix poured to a certain thickness onto Yupo Paper -left to dry and harden

Stage 2: Sensitize the tissue to UV light using ammonium dichromate

Stage 3: Expose a negative under UV light onto the sensitized tissue

Stage 4: Soak temporary and final support in cool water and then “mate” the tissue to the final support- the temporary and final support adhere to each other.

Stage 5: Develop the print by soaking both in warm water and peel off the temporary support.  The carbon/gelatin should transfer to the final support.  Wash off soft gelatin on final support (not hardened by UV light).  These are the lighter areas on the final print. Dry