Nothing too new or exciting to report. I’ve been really busy in the studio, and have several pieces completed. I don’t necessarily like all of them, but that’s another story. Some of them I do like quite a bit, however.
I’m about to start working with the gum bichromate process. I’ve been procrastinating starting it, one, because there are several other process I’m still exploring, and two, because by all accounts it’s kind of a pain in the butt. I’ve done plenty of reading, and know I can make a good go of it, so the plan is to start making my first calibration prints as soon as this weekend. I’ll write more about how that works once I get started.
I think I may have an answer to the crappy results I was getting with the cyanotype toners I wrote about in the last post. In all three toners, the bleaching part of the process worked fine. It was only when I had to soak the prints in a tannic acid solution that they didn’t turn out right. The obvious answer is that the tannic acid solution was spent, so when I get time I’m going to mx some more up and try again. If anyone reading this has experience toning cyanotypes, let me know if you think I’m on the right track.
The plumbing problems I mentioned previously are also being resolved. I bought two new utility sinks at Home Depot that are larger than the ones currently in the basement, and the plumbers are coming tomorrow to install them. It’s going to be pretty expensive-the former owner of my house (who did home repairs as cheaply and stupidly as possible) had used pvc pipe for all the plumbing around the utility sinks, and it all needs to be ripped out and replaced with copper tubing. The plumber told me it should take several hours to complete. So, lots of labor charges and no printing tomorrow. That’s fine. There’s plenty of work I can do on the computer, and the plumbing really needs to be done.
In other news, the Beverly Arts Center, a local arts center in my neighborhood, has the opening reception for it’s annual juried art competition tomorrow night. I entered a piece which I made last year. It was accepted into the exhibit, but the big news is that I got a call from the arts center yesterday. They wanted to be sure I was attending the opening reception, because I won one of the awards being given. I’ll post more details when I know them.
OK, enough news. Here’s some recent work:
This one was taken in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC back in August. It’s two separate photos collaged together. I like the blurred, moving figures, and the odd space/time shift that occurs by having the same woman appear twice. It’s a little streaky, I’ve been having difficulty getting the Van Dyke brown solution to coat well on Rives BFK paper. I printed this image a second time on Arches cold press, and it’s much clearer, although a little lighter and lower in contrast.
These photos were both shot in the Communist Sculpture ark in Budapest, and were printed in Van Dyke brown on Rives BFK paper. I like the first one quite a bit. The second one, not so much. The paper coated with streaks, and I haven’t reprinted because I decided that the image isn’t that interesting.
I really like this print. It’s a collage made from four closeup photos of a small (approx. 6” tall) acupuncture head model. I shot the photos through a store window in San Francisco’s Chinatown and enlarged them to get this print, which is approx. 13’ X 19”.
You’ve seen this one before, I posted the original cyanotype print about a month ago. This is the same print, toned using the eggplant black toner I wrote about here. Unlike my other attempts at toning cyanotypes, this one came out well, and I like the result.