Friday, 6 November 2009

The wonder that is silver

Today i have managed, for the first time in a long period of time, to surprise myself. I was hunting down messy processes to work with for my final exhibition. I eventually settled for using liquid emulsion on watercolor paper and see how that goes. Which i managed to do indeed. Despite Mr. Chris Coekin's witty and intelligent observation: "see i ... i think ... it's not getting through to me. I can't feel it", i went ahead with my ideas and got the emulsion, the paper and got down to business.

To my surprise, the emulsion is, as Mr. Colin Jackson would put it "what happens to rice pudding when it gets cold". Indeed, it's like a thick rubber thing. It requires heating before it becomes liquid again. Not a lot of heat - placing the recipient in a tank with boiled water for about 10-15 minutes should do the trick. For a brush, i decided to go with the best available and got a Jiaban wood brush made from goat hair. Brilliant for most alternative processes, courtesy of

The paper was coated and left overnight. The deed had been done. I came back today and got down to business, trying to expose some shots i took of a skull on it. I got the skull from the Design Department and i had a bit of fun sitting in the cafeteria having a sandwich and talking to it. Freaks people out. Ah.. these little things make my day.

Test strips, quite a few of them. And then ... the MOT (moment of truth). I exposed the paper, took a deep breath and lovingly pushed it under the surface of the developer, hoping for the best but expecting the usual...

I turned it and i must say i am rather impressed. It does what it says on the tin, and more. It's somewhat grobian in nature but masks my inability to take care of my negatives in the most wonderful way possible. More experiments will be done, more portraits will be taken and we'll see how it all goes.