I’m supposed to get ready for the Christmas market in my gallery and do nothing else than bake and make pictures in the darkroom but yesterday was such a gorgeous day. No wind, frost, sun coming up and the moon still out. A crispy -8°C degrees.
I had a picture in my head and thought well if I cycle to the Nature reserve and back that will take max 30 minutes right? I ended up not taking the image I thought of but lots of other great pics and coming back 2,5 hours later. It was so beautiful one could cry.
When I came home I developed my 3 rolls of film, as usual in Caffenol(coffee and vitamin C), as it turns out one of my two cameras didn’t work so 2 rolls out of three were blank. The only drawback with analog photography… Oh well at least I have my one roll and it was great to take a break from my self-made stress. Today back in the darkroom!
Soon I’ve picked every berry in the garden! So far we’ve made black currant cordial, red currant jelly with mint, red berry syrup and red gooseberry marmalade. The husband has made “No mango sauce”, a hot sweet fruity chili sauce with lots of canned fruit but no mango(hence the name), and the traditional thai garlic chili jam Nam Prik Phao. It’s like Santas workshop in the kitchen. I’ve also been baking loads of cakes. Every weekend during summer we keep the gallery open and soon it’s time for the yearly “Art wave”. The busiest weekend for us of the whole year. We’re planning on selling plenty of cakes, garden goodness and hopefully some of my photographs as well. I’ve invited another artist to sell her glass artwork in the gallery. She thought it would be fun to combine our products so we did a little photo shoot of her glass vases and some of the little chicks. What is it they say? Never work with kids or animals…well we had a lot of fun but it sure wasn’t easy! I made some quick prints in the darkroom before the weekend, now they say it’s gonna rain for a week so I’ll have lots of time to make more without feeling guilty about missing out on the sunshine. The youngest chicks got rained on for the first time today, they weren’t happy at all! They all let me catch them without trouble to go under the heating lamp in the basement. Growing fast I’m pretty sure they can stay out in the henhouse with the rest soon but I’ll pamper them just a little bit longer…
amazing what you can fit on a bike trolly
not easy to keep concentration when the barn turns into a zoo…
beginning of a box
getting there and getting late…
Did I do this?!?
Inside, folded down
inside folded up
finished box! Wohoo!!
So I decided earlier this year that this would be a wet plate year, no actually, THE wet plate year. I also have a another great big plan but it’s too early to spill the beans… Anywho, I started out building my wet plate box with stuff I had but soon realised that I wanted the box to be long lasting, sturdy and nice looking so I took a bike ride to the wood shop. Bought big boards of plywood and while figuring out how to fasten it to my bike-trolly one of the guys working there stopped and asked if I needed assistance(the perks of being female is sometimes very rewarding). He was nice enough to cut the wood into the measurements I had in my head. I cycled back and started building. Only problem was the plywood was a bit bent but I just worked on feeling and didn’t mind the measurements too much. The chicks came to watch and then suddenly I see movement and look up, there’s a huge seagull there! Almost inside the barn. I followed it around for a while taking pictures and making sure that it wasn’t injured, it could fly so that was not the case, but it was not a bit scared of me or the hens. It got me thinking of the story my 96 year old neighbour told me about the seagull who used to steal peoples underwear from the beach, fly far out and drop them in the sea! I’ve spent most of my time lately working on the box but also clearing another wall in the gallery. Somehow I got that huge kitchen cabinet down and turned upside down, on my own, without being squashed. I do need some storage space so I’m keeping it but it needs a lick of paint and some textile where the doors were. As always when I get into these creative swirls there’s a moment where I stop and look around, thinking -did I create this mess?? My husband having a Frank Zappa-week has helped me heaps, forcing me outdoors. Oh well, tomorrow is the big day, trying out my new box!
Vandyke on textile
A well earned lunch
The paper promised 18°c and sunshine today and it was too good to be true. A very bright day but cold wind so now I find myself on the sofa warming up under a tonne of blankets after many hours outdoors. Successful and pleasant day though, I love giving workshops. You always learn new things yourself, today I learnt lots of Stockholm photography words which are apparently completely different from Gothenburg lingo. My Stockholm student had in his daze(having to leave for Gothenburg at 4am in the morning) left his negatives at a McDonalds in another town so we had to use whatever was nearby like feathers, plants and fabric. I had a short lunch break for newly baked sourdough bread, raspberry and pomme granat marmalade and cheddar cheese. My workshop participants where too busy to take a break. I know the feeling, when you are on a roll you don’t feel hunger. They made plenty of prints and were very happy and surprised how easy Cyanotype is. I’m going to make up a big batch next week and do some more myself!
coffee grinder and chillies
Homemade chili powder
Started this morning with grinding up the chillies I’ve had hanging in my window, in my husbands coffee grinder. Note to myself: Remember to wash it out carefully. The plan was chilli flakes but turned out to be a powder. Looks great and smells great! Note to myself: Do not stick your nose to close to the jar of freshly made chilli powder and inhale.
Went on to mix some chemicals for my wet plates. I haven’t done any wet plates in ages. Sometimes it’s nice with a break and now I start to feel my fingers become trigger happy and missing photography. So I mixed the Collodion and the salts I need and fresh developer. Also important not to stick your nose to close. I try to take every pro-caution I can, wearing a mask and avoiding the strongest chemicals if they can be swapped for something else. This time I decided to try out Frances &Scully Osterman’s recipe. The collodion looked like cloudy lemon juice when mixed but I’m sure it will clear eventually. I also did a light proof test with the few film holders I have left. They take such beating from the silver. The test showed I have two left to use which was more than I thought I had. Also light proofed the camera. The bellows are so riddled with holes it’s a miracle that I’ve had any plates done with it. Now it ain’t pretty no more but it will hopefully do the trick!