The formula for printing a fine-grained, continuous-tone gold print with a range of at least 10 stops is simple. You can vary the intensity of the print out somewhat by altering the number of drops of 1% ascorbate added to the 40% ammonium ferric oxalate -- use 5 or 6 drops for a very contrasty negative; 8 or 9 for a very soft negative.
A manual is available for purchase online in PDF format: THE TEXAS REVOLUTION IN GOLD (opens new window). This book includes basic information on printing with gold-platinum (now the Karytype), as well. If you do purchase the manual, please send me your email address so that I can send you updates as I continue my work in chrysotype printing.
On January 1, 2013, I initiated a quest to take platinum and palladium printing into the 21st century along with my Texas Chrysotype. It has taken me months to solve problems that have eluded photographic printers for over 140 years now: how to print out all three of these precious metals without the uncertainty of having to humidify paper, and repeatedly and reliably. At this time, I am printing out dry palladium, platinum, and gold-platinum images using ammonium dichromate to boost contrast -- I want a less toxic chemical that does not introduce grain. It is not enough to me that I have perfected printing with gold, palladium and platinum, and invented printing with gold-platinum (the Karytype): I want my processes to be not just simple but safe as well.
Ammonium ferric oxalate ages. Exposed to light, heat, or simply passing time, it degrades to ammonium ferrous oxalate. I had read a note by the brilliant inventor of the Ziatype process, Dick Sullivan, that if one's platinum or palladium prints start to turn out flat with poor contrast, the ammonium ferric oxalate has too much ferrous iron in it. I did not need a PhD in chemistry to know that ascorbate converts iron from its ferric state to ferrous. I needed only print test strips with various concentrations of ascorbate added to 40% ammonium ferric oxalate to perfect the process. Inspiration will always trump mere knowledge.
In the ensuing months, I learned how my new process could be used for more expressive effects than I had ever seen in any alternative process print. Blue skies peer through roiling clouds over the Texas battlefields of 1835 and 1836. Bronze gleams brown against slate-blue granite beneath a purple-streaked sky. A sealed doorway through which a wounded man was carried to his execution hovers a ghostly blue in the glaring sunlight. Spectral white pyramids pile up in a sky above a fortified mission. Leafy branches glow with delicately reflected light. All through brushwork and the chemicals used in the first clearing bath.