The steps for making a Bromoil Print
Unlike a normal photographic print each Bromoil is unique and no two from the same negative are identical. This is the reason why:
A black and white photographic print is made on a fibre based bromide paper, in the normal way.
The print is then bleached and tanned in chemicals. This alters the structure of the photographic emulsion and the image disappears. At this stage the print is known as the matrix and is dried and stored ready for inking.
The matrix is soaked in water for a few minutes and then all surplus moisture is removed. Printers ink is then stippled onto the print with a bromoil or stippling brush. Due to the chemical action on the emulsion, the ink adheres to the areas where the emulsion is hard. Conversely the soft areas of emulsion, (which retain water) repel the ink, resulting in the black and white tones being restored.
The print may be inked and dried and re-inked a number of times, until the desired result is achieved. The process ensures archival permanence and produces a print which is one of a kind.
Unfortunately the photographic papers suitable for making Bromoil prints are quickly disappearing, as manufacturers go out of business. The Bromoil Circle of Great Britain are always experimenting and trying to locate suitable materials in order that the process can continue.