Art & Soul Studio
specializes in a rare color printing process known as the
Pigment-Transfer, or Color Carbon print.
in 1855 as a black and white photographic printing process,
this print making technique was used by Louis Ducos du Hauron
of France, in 1869, to make the very first color print in
the history of photography. The Carbon Print has long enjoyed
renown as the Rolls Royce of all photo processes for its
beauty as well as for its image permanence.
The Carbon Print
is the ancestor of several other elite print making processes,
including Carbro and Dye Transfer printing, and it is also
related to all modern graphic arts printing processes that
exist today. Art & Soul produces a modern version of the
classic Carbon Print.
Images are digitally
captured on a high resolution Scanmate 11000 drum scanner
before being previewed and edited on a computer workstation.
By using sophisticated color management, images can be represented
on-screen and proofed as they will appear later, when printed
with the classic 19th Century pigment transfer techniques.
The edited digital
files are used to produce the high-resolution separation
negatives that are required for contact printing onto the
pigmented gelatin emulsions that are unique to the carbon
pigmented-gelatin emulsions are produced in Art & Soul's
studio using rich pigment colors that are permanent. To
make a pigment transfer print, cyan, magenta, yellow and
black pigmented gelatin emulsions are first exposed to ultraviolet
light through high resolution digital separation negatives.
Then the exposed pigment films are laminated, one at a time,
in precise registration onto a specially prepared polyester
sheet. There, just like the 19th century carbon print, the
unexposed areas of pigmented gelatin are washed away with
hot water. When all four processed color layers are finally
transferred together onto a final sheet of watercolor paper
that has been custom sized with gelatin, they form a high-quality,
permanent color print.
In all, it takes
21 different printing steps carried out over many days to
make a finished pigment transfer print. Printed onto the
finest watercolor papers from the renowned Arches and Fabriano
paper mills of France and Italy, these prints have a distinctive
surface and texture which readily identifies them. They
are truly permanent, and will retain the beauty and vibrancy
of their original colors for hundreds of years after conventional
photographs have faded away. Accelerated light fading tests
conducted by Henry Wilhelm, the world's leading authority
on the care and permanence of color photographs, have shown
that these prints "are far more stable than conventional
dye-image color prints, and should last for more than 500
years before noticeable image fading or staining occurs,"
even when displayed under high light levels. The longest
lasting color photo papers, lithographs and ink jet prints
will have faded badly before a pigment transfer print ever
begins to change.
prints have now become the standard for the artist, the
photographer or the publisher seeking the world's finest
color print. Art & Soul specializes in the digital imaging
techniques of scanning, image editing and color management.
The studio is known for artistic excellence, and works on
fine art projects for the most discerning artists and museums.
in a rare and beautiful 19th Century process, using the
modern tools of the digital age, Art & Soul Studio is dedicated
to producing great work that combines all that is best of
the last and the next centuries.
(on the Carbon
process of color printing, from Tod Gangler)