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Christine Binder-Ruff 2022
Christine Binder Ruff

born April 12, 1969
state authorized and sworn civil engineer
master builder
since 2005 freelance architect
2020 Artistic Photography Course at the LIK, Vienna
2021 and 2022 various exhibitions in Vienna and surroundings

Theodor Martini 2023
Theodore Martini

born June 14, 1955
trained photolithographer
1981 founding of the lithography workshop
1989 Founding of Martini Druck and Verlags Ges.mbH
2021 collotype workshop at Gert Bertholdt in Hechthausen, Germany


Old printing techniques have always interested me, especially the noble printing processes. I was looking for a process that would allow me to finish my photos myself on handmade paper. That's why I experimented with cyanotype for a while.

During an inspiring trip to Venice, where I visited the studio of a photographer who, using a process he developed himself, combined his photos with  using a small printing press on handmade paper, I went in search of an old printing press.

In the spring of 2021, I came across an advertisement for the sale of an entire lithographic printing workshop. After the tour, it quickly became clear to me that this was a unique opportunity to acquire an entire printing workshop in one fell swoop. The heart of the workshop was a beautiful Karl Krause Leipzig friction press from around 1890. The man I bought his well-equipped printing workshop from was Theodor Martini.

It quickly became apparent that we share the same enthusiasm for fine printing processes. The idea arose to take a closer look at one of these old printing techniques together; we chose collotype printing because this printing technique is one of the few techniques that can produce real halftones and does not require a grid.

Since the end of 2021 we have been working intensively on collotype printing as part of the Lichtdruck-Vienna working group. Since there are only a handful of people left in the world who have mastered this technique, it was difficult to get enough in-depth information. So we studied books from the time when collotype printing was common practice. The descriptions for the necessary equipment, which Theo Martini subsequently built for us, also come from these books.

Our aim has always been to print my photos using the old collotype technique duplicate. Because I work with a digital camera, I can edit my photos on the computer and make negatives that I print on foil. These digital negatives can be used like analog negatives and exposed onto a coated glass plate using the collotype printing process, which then serves as a printing block.

In this way, the analogue technology of collotype printing can be linked with digital technology. Something new and independent is created. 

For me, the processing of my photos using collotype printing increases their artistic quality and value, because traditional craftsmanship and art are combined here.

Christine Binder-Ruff

Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but

the preservation and passing on the fire.

Jean Jaurès (1859 - 1914)

For many years I printed lithographs from stone for artists in all techniques in my workshop. Fine art photographic printing techniques were always a topic for me, but the time was not yet ripe for implementation. Some techniques like gum printing, pigment printing and experiments with albumin-chromate layers on the stone fell by the wayside after some successes due to lack of time. Especially after the foundation of Martini Druck und Verlags Ges.m.b.H. my attention was drawn to other projects.

That is why the meeting with Mrs. Binder-Ruff was a stroke of luck. Now the time has come to explore this beautiful but very complex process of collotype printing. Experienced printers have called the collotype plate an evil mother-in-law that challenges the printer every time there is a thunderstorm, a drop in temperature or a change in air pressure.
We accept the challenge, because now the time is ripe!

Theodor Martini

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