Cibachrome (Ilfochrome) material was discontinued by Ilford with the last production batch delivered in 2012. I bought a large supply of this material, which I keep stored in a freezer warehouse at 0° F. However, once it’s gone, it’s gone forever. The manufacturing process required unique and very expensive equipment, which has already been dismantled and sold for scrap metal. Even when the specialized equipment and skilled technicians were available, it was extremely difficult and expensive to manufacture and by now, many of the raw materials are no longer available. Sadly, Cibachrome will never be made again. Fortunately, I have enough material to allow me to continue printing for at least another five years and perhaps longer.
In February of 2015, I was contacted by a photographic chemist who used to work for Ilford. After some discussion, he has agreed to make me a custom production run of processing chemistry. This special batch will come in powdered form, vacuum sealed. I will store it at 0° F, withdrawing packets as needed for processing my prints. By making the chemistry as powders and keeping them frozen, the shelf life of the chemistry is quadrupled enabling me to make prints for a longer time than I originally projected.
Cibachrome is a unique printing material, with a luminosity and depth that I believe to be unsurpassed by any other photographic print medium. While I am sad to see the end of this era in photographic history, I feel blessed to have been able to use this remarkable material during my entire photographic career. I am humbled and grateful to the thousands of individuals who have purchased these prints for their homes and work spaces during these last 35 years. Ruth and I thank all of you for your enthusiastic support and love of my work! I will continue to make Cibachrome prints as long as my health and printing materials hold out.