Gum Bichromate Photography using Natural Pigments Applied in Multiple Layers
"I have been teaching myself various forms of photography since 1983. My work in the 80s--as a photojournalist for 8 years in Europe, Africa, and the US--was published in newspapers and magazines worldwide. In 1987 I became Company Photographer for Durham 's Manbites Dog Theatre. Throughout the 1990s I taught photography at the Duke University Craft Center and at the Durham School of the Arts. During this time I became fascinated with the early history of photo methods from 1839-1889. My favorite of these alternative methods is gum bichromate, made by mixing a sensitive dichromate with the sap of the acacia tree that we know as gum arabic. I combine this mixture with plant and mineral pigments such as indigo, green Italian earth, walnut hulls, and sandlewood--brushed onto watercolor paper and exposed outdoors in the sun. Multiple coats are applied using different pigments and can be printed on handmade papers, watercolor paper, or cloth. Each unique print takes more than a week to complete.