Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Back to the Darkroom

New prints hanging to dry in the darkroom.

In the middle of October I will be participating in my first art fair of sorts. It will be in Louisville at Sojourn Community Church as part of their Affordable Art Show. Daniel Graham and I will be sharing a booth. With this deadline in mind I'm producing more new work along the lines of what I did for the Lexington Art League CSA project.

A wet print in which the veils were not popped. Too bad it didn't look this interesting once it dried.

I have been back in the darkroom experimenting with more botanical mordançage prints. I've learned a number of things since I made the Silver Dollars print. For starters, my enlarger was totally set up wrong, from the condenser lenses to the lamp height. It's a wonder the print even worked. After some quick adjustments and tests, those issues were worked out.

Some very unusual results in the background, although I'm not too crazy abut the final image.

The other part of the workflow that I've been able to explore more is the mordançage process itself. After making so many prints in a row (and now experimenting with a whole new batch of photograms) I've been able to find ways of controlling the tones and finished image. That said, there are still many results that seem unexplainable and random. But sometimes that bit of surprise is a boost that encourages me to keep exploring and finding something new.

This one turned out a little more predictable/traditional.

For the Affordable Art Show I am planning again to finish my prints with 11"x14" mat boards. In addition I'll be making digital reproductions, probably 5"x7" and/or 8"x10" prints on watercolor paper, to sell at a much lower price.

So far so good. Next thing on my list is to find a 10'x10' white tent.


Daniel Cantu II said...

What other kinds of hues and tints can you achieve with this printing process? I would assume "silver plate" prints turn out silver, but what about adding food coloring to the last stage? Or what if you added a reactive chemical to the final print that corrodes the "drapes" in the print? I know physical manipulation can change the effects of the final product, but I don't know what your view is on total-experimentation instead of happy-accidents.

Prof. Darrell Kincer said...

Daniel, there are some subtle ways to bring a bit of color to the prints. In traditional darkroom this is usually done through toning, such as sepia toning. I've actually toned my prints with selenium, another common toner, but the results are very subtle. Some toners can add a great deal of color, but I'm not usually a big fan of overdoing it. There are some other options in toning related to the type/brand of paper you use. In addition I've found that sunlight, redeveloper, and amount of time in the mordançage chemistry can all play major roles.