Layers of Pigment (Gum Bichromate Printing) 2023

Claudia Kaatziza Cortínez
Claudia Cortinez, 2020 Workspace Artist-in-Residence

Event Info

This three-day, in-person workshop takes place at CBA on Thursdays, April 27–May 11, from 6pm-9pm ET.

  • Thursday, April 27, 6–9pm
  • Thursday, May 4, 6-9pm
  • Thursday, May 11, 6-9pm

Please Note: Registration for this workshop closes on April 20, at 11:59pm.

About the Workshop:

This in-person class at Center for Book Arts is taught by instructor Claudia Kaatziza Cortínez.

Gum Bichromate Printing is a 19th century photographic printing process using colored pigment and gum arabic, a technique which created the first color images. This class will provide an introduction to this historic process with a contemporary and experimental approach. Using various color combinations and a range of unconventional materials as pigments, students will experiment with negatives and photograms to make layered prints using only sunlight (UV light) and water. The images have a unique quality- soft painterly texture and multicolor layers that can be combined with other alternative processes such as Cyanotype.


The class will include a presentation of historical references, as well as contemporary artists working with this medium. Students will learn how to prepare digital negatives, separating an image into multi-color layers. During the class we will cover printing images in 2-3 color layers, as well as discussing how to prepare negatives for a full CMYK print. We will also cover experimental ways of producing pigments, which is one of the most exciting aspects of Gum Printing in my opinion, as you can create images using any substance that contains pigment (ie. ground brick, burnt wood, organic material, etc.) This is a rich and exciting way to explore the materiality of an image. We will discuss how the physical materials used for printing can create meaning and interpretation of your works.


Required Materials:

  • Bring in any existing photo negatives or collage/photogram material you wish to print with.
  • All printing materials will be provided by CBA. Students should bring any materials they want to use to create photograms (collage items such as mesh, lace, translucent/ perforated paper or fabric, botanicals, etc) as well as having images selected to print as digital negatives. We will discuss these details in the first class, students will be asked to have these items ready for the second class.

All other materials will be provided by Center for Book Arts at no additional cost.

About Claudia Kaatziza Cortínez

Claudia Kaatziza Cortínez is a visual artist and educator, born in the US to parents from Argentina and Chile and currently living in NYC. Her work focuses on recording objects and patterns from urban and domestic spaces, exploring how relationships between architecture, time, and memory become physical records. Her works combine paper casting, printmaking, and analogue photographic techniques as a way to approach image-making as a sculptural process. She received her BFA from RISD and her MFA from Yale University.

She is the recipient of the Yale Norfolk Teaching Fellowship, the Rema Hort Mann Emerging Artist Grant in NYC, the Alice Kimball Traveling Fellowship from Yale, the Blair Dickinson Memorial Grant from Yale, among others. She has exhibited her work in solo and group shows in the US, Latin America, and Europe, and has curated exhibitions at the Shirley Fiterman Art Center in NYC and the Eduardo Sívori Museum in Buenos Aires, bringing together artists from both cities.

Recent residencies include the Lower East Side Printshop, LMCC Swing-Space, NARS Foundation, Mass MoCA, the Loisaida Center, and Tou Trykk Grafisk Verksted, among others. She is co-founder/director of LAZO, a platform for Latinx artists. Claudia is a 2020 artist in residence at the Center for Book Arts and Silver Art Projects in NYC.

All images courtesy of the instructor.

If you cannot comfortably pay tuition but are interested in taking this class, please consider filling out our financial assistance application here. We will notify you if you are selected to receive a scholarship before the start date of the class. To view more information about our current scholarship opportunities, please visit this link.

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