Why Platinum and Gold...?

 

Neermala Savadekar Blog

 

I envisioned that my soul images, especially my Luminous and Polka Dots series, both very dear to my heart, could be made eternal, lasting for generations and seen as a family heirloom, owned proudly and then passed on to the next generation with love.

It was my longing to give permanence to my images and seal them for eternity that made me undertake the journey towards platinum and gold printing. No other printing method offers this permanence. So, I underwent training in these two methods, now considered very rare, and used by only a handful of people in the whole world. My Luminous and Polka Dots series are available in sizes of 5x7, and 10x12, in both Platinum and Gold, in sets of 2, 3, 4, 5 and 12.

You can use these long lasting photo art images as a gift for your beloved, or to add to your company or private art collection, without worrying about the problem of fading over time. I can guarantee my photos will be a treasure coveted by you.

 

Why are they called unique prints/Mono Prints and not limited editions prints?

 

As each print is individually printed an exact replica is not possible. Unlike other photographic prints, each print of these is thus unique.

 

Know the Process...

 

know t process Special handmade paper, ordered as per specification from France, is used.
The paper is hand-coated with the required metals along with the necessary chemicals.
A digital negative is made and printed to the size required.
The negative is placed on the coated surface of paper.
The paper is exposed to UV light.
The paper thus exposed is processed in the necessary chemical where the precious metals get embedded in the paper. Once printed on handcrafted paper, platinum and gold offer longevity and a special archival quality.

The Legacy of Precious Platinum

 

Pure , rare and eternal

One of the rarest metals (30 times more rare than gold) on Earth, platinum is of extraordinary origin. It arrived on our planet with the first meteorites that showered on Earth 2 billion years ago but it was only in the 18th century that platinum asserted its position as one of the most precious metals on Earth. The symbol for Platinum is Pt and its atomic number is 78.

• Did you know the legendary Kohinoor diamond is set in the British Crown in platinum?
• Royal figures like Edward VIII, rock and roll legend Elvis Presley, and Hollywood celebrities like Tom Cruise exchanged wedding bands of rare platinum.
• Platinum's rarity and versatility makes it a metal of choice for jewellers like Cartier.
• Today, international fashion designers such as Vivienne Tam and Giovanni Cavagna are using platinum in special lines.

Neermala Savadekar has used this special metal to merge her rare and exquisite soul images onto bespoke hand-coated photographs, on handmade paper. A dash of palladium metal has added warmth to it and eternal permanence.
Viewing platinum images with their unique richness is an altogether out of the world experience...

The Legend of Gold And the World's Rarest Bespoke Photo Printing Method

 

Rare and prized, fanatical craze, eternal radiance

Gold has always been a highly sought-after precious metal. This coveted yellow metal has been used as money, as a store of value, since it doesn't tarnish, corrode or rust. History is full of stories about the lure of gold: the famous gold rush of California is well known, as is the mask of Tutankhamen in Egypt.
The symbol for gold is Au, and its atomic number is 79.

Neermala Savadekar has used gold to print her photographs, following a method called 'Chrysotype', developed by Sir Herschel in 1842. This is a very rare form of photographic printing in which the image gets embedded on the paper; it is practiced now by only three /four people in the world.
Later Dr. Mike Ware, modern chemist and photographic historian, reworked the method, giving more stability to gold so that it could form a tough surface on paper and create an enduring image that would last for generations to come. In his method gold chloride is used to coat the paper so that an image is formed. Gold photos can give a black and white hue, purple hue, or violet hue, depending on the temperature in the darkroom.
Neermala was the first Asian to learn this technique from Dr. Ware just before his retirement.

More about Chrysotype

 

Chrysotype, or gold print, is a photographic process invented by John Herschel in 1842. Named from the Greek for 'gold', it uses colloidal gold to record images on paper. Herschel's system involved coating paper with ferric citrate, exposing it to the sun in contact with an etching used as a mask, then developing the print with a chloroaurate solution. This did not provide continuous-tone photographs. The modern chemist and photographic historian Dr. Mike Ware has experimented with a reinvention of the process, giving more subtle tones.
Herschel's discovery followed just one year after Talbot's first announcement of the invention of photography using silver. At that time it was not obvious which of the many light-sensitive substances discovered by the experimentalists of that era would provide the best foundation for a viable photographic process - whether it should be platinum, mercury, gold, silver or iron. Herschel's Chrysotype process is one of the least-known of these 'lost' options, totally by-passed in the mainstream of photographic development. It was never carried into successful practice owing to technical difficulties in controlling the contrast, colour and fogging of the image, despite sporadic attempts during the 19th century to resolve the difficulties.

Herschel's Chrysotype recipes are quite well documented, but their use unmodified leads to a disappointing quality, compared with the platinotype. I (who is saying this?) found it necessary to apply some 20th century chemistry to the problem in order to 'tame' the vigorous and unpredictable behaviour of the gold salts. After six years and many thousands of experiments, I arrived at formulations for making gold prints of good gradation in a wide range of colours. It must be stressed, in view of common misapprehensions, that this is not gold toning - in the sense of a retrospective manipulation of an existing silver image - but a 'straight' printing medium. The colours so obtained, including pink, magenta, brown, purple, violet, blue and green, are not of course 'true to life' - they might even be described as surreal - because this is still essentially a monochrome printing process, using a conventional 'black and white' negative.

In addition to permanence and colour, the other characteristic of Chrysotypes is their surface texture. All commercial photographic printing papers yield images consisting of small silver particles bound within a layer of hardened gelatine which coats the paper and confers on the print its uniform glossiness. In contrast, the Chrysotypes consist of minute particles of colloidal gold trapped within the uppermost fibres of a fine-art paper. The surface is therefore totally matte and non-reflective, and displays the characteristic texture or 'tooth' of the paper, which can be chosen by the print-maker

The procedure for making a Chrysotype closely resembles that for the more familiar Platinotype or Cyanotype: a sheet of artists' water colour paper is hand-coated with a solution of light-sensitive chemicals, dried, and exposed through a negative in a contact-printing frame to a source of ultra-violet light such as a sun-lamp or even -reverting to the earliest photographic technique- the sun itself. A wet-processing procedure then follows in order to develop the image and remove all excess chemicals. The print is finally washed and dried. There is no need for a darkroom, thanks to the low sensitivity of the material
Further details of chrysotypewww.goldbulletin.org/assets/file/goldbulletin/downloads/ware_3_39.pdf.

Platinum prints, also called platinotypes, discovered by Willis in 1873 are photographic prints made by a monochromeprinting process that provides the greatest tonal range of any printing method using chemical development.
Unlike the silver print process, platinum lies on the paper surface, while silver lies in a gelatine or albumen emulsion that coats the paper. As a result, since no gelatine emulsion is used, the final platinum image is absolutely matte with a deposit of platinum (and/or palladium, its sister element which is also used in most platinum photographs) absorbed slightly into the paper.
The light sensitive chemicals are mixed from powdered basic chemicals, or some commercially available solutions, then hand applied with a brush or a cylindrical 'pusher'. On the collecting market, platinum prints often sell for many times what a similar silver-gelatine print would sell for.

Aesthetics

 

Platinum prints are made by photographers and favoured by collectors because of their tonal range, the surface quality and their permanence. A platinum print provides a broad scale of tones from black to white. Platinum prints are the most durable of all photographic processes. The platinum group metals are very stable against chemical reactions that might degrade the print - even more stable than gold. It is estimated that a platinum image, properly made, can last thousands of years. Some of the desirable characteristics of a platinum print include:

▪ An absolutely non-reflective surface of the prints, unlike more typical glossy prints.
▪ A very delicate, large tonal range.
▪ Not being coated with gelatine, the prints do not exhibit the tendency to curl.
▪ The darkest possible tones in the prints are still lighter than silver-based prints.
▪ Recent studies have this attributed to an optical illusion produced by the gelatine coating on RC and fibre-based papers. Platinotypes that have been waxed or varnished will produce images that appear to have greater D-max than silver prints.
▪ A greatly decreased susceptibility to deterioration compared to silver-based prints due to the stability of the process and because they are commonly printed on 100% rag papers.

 
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