During our Daguerreotype Workshop with Jerry Spagnoli our participants got to try their hand at the first photographic process!
Daguerreotype is a means of making a photograph that involves sensitizing a highly polished silver plate with iodine vapors, exposing it in a large-format camera, developing and fixing the image, and applying a gilded coating to preserve the plate. Our participants performed all these steps assisted by their instructor. Spagnoli explained the various chemical reactions that took place throughout the process, leading to a better understanding of how light-sensitive materials operate. Through learning how to make Daguerreotypes, our workshop participants gained a historical perspective of how early photographs were made and brought that knowledge into the 21st century by making contemporary images.
Polishing the plate – we broke out the power tools for this workshop!
Sensitizing the plate
Metering for good exposure
Clearing the plate
Checking the plate in good lighting
Gilding the plate – in lieu of the traditional ring stand, we improvised with an old spring!
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We were so grateful to have Santa Fe-based artist Jennifer Schlesinger here with us two weeks ago to share her beautiful artwork and knowledge of the albumen process!
Jennifer gave a lecture on Friday evening, during which she discussed both her personal history with albumen as well as a brief history of the medium. She also shared unframed prints of hers, allowed each audience member to view first-hand the magic of albumen prints.
By Saturday morning, our Albumen Workshop was in full swing! After a more detailed print-viewing, including the standards for good print quality and common errors, the class got to work making their own batch of albumen.
This simple concoction of egg whites, acetic acid, distilled water and ammonium chloride forms a protein-packed binder that prevents the light-sensitive silver nitrate from soaking into the base paper, as well as providing a unique pearl sheen to the surface of the print. The egg whites must be separated from the yolks and strained several times through cheesecloth, which breaks down the stringy protein structures.
Once combined with the other necessary ingredients, the albumen must be beaten well to further denature the egg whites and ensure that everything is thoroughly mixed. The new albumen mixture must sit for at least two weeks to cure before use and never expires, although the rotten-egg smell that increases as it ages may render it unusable.
The albumen mixture is beaten to “soft peaks”
When the albumen has cured (in our workshop we used a pre-made batch), a flotation method is used to coat it onto paper for printing. Although this coating method requires great delicacy and skill, all of our participants did a wonderful job coating their papers!
Coated sheets left to dry overnight
Class participants Barbara, Shari, and Cesar gather ’round the light table to help Chris select a negative to use
On Sunday, the participants coated their albumen sheets with silver nitrate, again using the floatation method. Once coated with silver nitrate the paper is light-sensitive, so this step and all processing were executed under red safelights. The coated papers dried, and the participants printed in our three UV exposure units through digital negatives of their images that had been produced by Art Intersection prior to the workshop. The exposed sheets were run through a series of processing trays, washed, toned with selenium, and washed again.
Jennifer helps her students assess their exposure times while printing
Jennifer and Tom compare two prints made at different exposures
Participants tone and wash their finished prints
Led by the expert help of Jennifer Schlesinger, our participants made fantastic, handmade prints!
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Last week we held a Portfolio Sharing in the Art Intersection Galleries! Participating in a Portfolio Sharing event is a benefit of all member levels, and we hold about three per year. This pleasant mid-day event was attended by many familiar Art Intersection characters, but we were pleased to welcome some new faces as well. Participating members had the opportunity to share the work they’re currently making, receive feedback from a public audience and answer questions about their art.
Emily Matyas shows prints from her Coming to America series
Fred Ullrich shares contact-sized inkjet prints of his 5×7 landscape and studio work
Cesar Laure shares fascinating images of far-away objects and people amid the clouds
Visitors admire David Emitt Adams’ brand-new piece from his Power series
Brad Armstrong discusses his 8×10 silver gelatin landscapes
Peter Schrager shares the silver gelatin prints he’s made in the Photographic Arts Lab over the past week
It was fun for us to see what everyone’s been up to! Thanks to all that attended. Look out for our next Portfolio Sharing event in March 2017. If you are not currently a member and would like to participate, sign up here.
To celebrate our exhibition of (re)View: Abstract, Land, and the Narrative, we hosted a Walk and Talk in the Galleries with Philip V. Augustin, BK Skaggs, and Melanie Walker. Each of the artists spoke about the inspiration surrounding their artwork, how the exhibited pieces evolved, and the conceptual ideas they are interested in. We were grateful for the opportunity to hear their comments and gain some insight into the work of these three fascinating artists! Special thanks to Philip and Melanie who travelled from New Mexico and Colorado to be with us – we’re glad you could be here!
Following the Walk and Talk was an Artist Reception for both (re)View and Imprint, our sculptural exhibition featuring Alexandra Bowers and Mary Meyer, who both had additional pieces available for our Holiday Sale. Thank you to everyone who came out, enjoyed the artwork, and provided thoughtful conversation!
Philip V. Augustin speaks about his work in (re)View
Philip V. Augustin
(re)View artist Melanie Walker shares some valuable insight to her artistic inspiration
BK Skaggs gives an attentive audience the backstory to his works in (re)View
Wood-burned pieces by Alexandra Bowers for the Imprint Artists’ Holiday Sale
Works by Mary Meyer featured in the Imprint Artists’ Holiday Sale
Late last month we had the pleasure of hosting a Platinum/Palladium workshop in our Photographic Arts Lab led by San Francisco-based artist Michael T. Puff! A master of this luminous, tonally-rich process, Michael led our eleven participants in making gorgeous prints of their own images.
Platinum/Palladium printing, a photographic process invented in the 19th century, has long been a favorite of alternative process photographers for its highly archival nature and infinite variations of gray tones as highlights shift to shadows. In the process Michael uses, ferric oxalate, palladium, and sodium chloroplatinate are mixed together, hand-brushed onto 100% cotton rag paper, exposed to UV light through a digital negative, and then processed with potassium oxalate and sodium thiosulfate. The end result is a handcrafted print that is estimated to retain its appearance for a thousand years!
Thank you to all of our wonderful participants, and of course to Michael for traveling to us to share his expertise!
Michael instructs the class on mixing the chemicals and coating their paper
The participants mark where the image portion of their digital negatives will be centered on their paper
After exposing a coated piece of paper to UV light, Michael demonstrates developing the print
Participants process their exposed prints
Cyd looks at the class’s finished work at the end of the day
Gorgeous work produced by the students pinned up on the critique board
Michael talks about successes and things to work on with the students
Beautiful work by Lloyd Matthews
Luminous prints by Deb Alberty
A delicate, icy print by our very own Business Manager, Debra Wilson!
Even though it will still be hot for the next few months, summer 2016 has come to an end, which means our summer teen photography program has come to a close as well. We had a blast passing along our photographic knowledge and providing these high schoolers with the opportunity to explore such a varied, creative medium!
During our Professional Portraiture and Photojournalism camp, teens had the opportunity to work with seasoned professionals to master the art of portraiture. We were pleased to be joined by David LeRoy Hunsaker, who led our teens in studio portraiture.
The students experimented with a variety of lighting techniques and got to practice directing a each other as models; they created a diverse range of creative portraiture from the same props and equipment, proving that the opportunities in photography are limitless!
During the second half of the camp, the students heard a presentation from Neil Miller on his long career of street (candid) photography, and then practiced the un-posed approach outdoors in surrounding Downtown Gilbert. Learning how to photograph a subject in his or her natural state is a vital skill for any photographer.
At the end of the workshop the students learned how to edit images in Photoshop and print them on our archival inkjet printers, and each student left the camp with an edited, printed portfolio of the work they created. These students now have the tools they need to start out as professional photographers!
During our two Exploring Photography summer camps, teens got to experiment with a wide variety of photographic techniques. They explored traditional darkroom photography by making photograms, shooting black and white film with SLR cameras, processing the film themselves, and making darkroom prints of their negatives.
Many of our students had never shot a roll of film and had only seen darkrooms in the movies, but they stayed patient with these tedious and time-consuming processes. By the end of the week many listed the darkroom as their favorite part of the camp!
Our Exploring Photography students also had the opportunity to make lumen prints, which is a process by which silver gelatin paper is overexposed to UV light, using plant material to create designs.
In addition to learning so many traditional processes, our teens kept with the times and practiced digital photography as well. They shot digital pictures, edited them in Photoshop, and made beautiful, professional-quality prints of their best images.
At the end of the camp, the students put all the work they created over the week on display and we discussed their results in a critique. Our students created some fantastic artwork – check out the online exhibit of their work here.
We had so much fun during our teen camps! Thanks to all the students that joined us, and we hope to see you again soon!
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Thanks to everyone who made it out to the opening reception for Emerge 2016! We love seeing the support these early-career artists get from their families, friends, and mentors.
Emerge 2016, our annual juried exhibition of high school-through-graduate school student photography, is one of our favorite exhibitions because we are always dazzled by the quality of work that we receive. This year was no exception! As juror William LeGoullon writes in his Juror’s Statement, “Emerge 2016 for me as a juror is about examining how students continue to challenge the ways we think about and develop the medium while simultaneously recognizing photography’s unique relationship to our culture as a whole.”
Congratulations to our award winners! Buzzy Sullivan won Best of Show, Brooke Wright took home Best of High School, and Aurora Berger received Best of Post-High School. We are grateful for our sponsors Freestyle Photographic Supplies (Best of Show), Tempe Camera (Best of High School and Post-High School), and INFOCUS (all award levels) for providing the prizes for these awards. Honorable Mentions were awarded to Boyana Babanovski, Christine Elysse Crossen, Pam Golden, Azalea Patricia Rodriguez, Adelaide West and Xana Wilcoxson.
Mia Tennant was a very talented Gilbert High School student photographer who passed away last year. To honor her memory, several of her photographs are on display alongside Emerge 2016. We were honored to have Mia’s mother, father, and brother join us for the reception.
Victoria Bridges poses with her mother
Prescott College student William Flemer with his artwork
Adelaide West with her artwork
Art Intersection intern Autumn Bibbee-Wright with her artwork
Emerge 2016 juror poses with Claire A. Warden and David Emitt Adams
Best of Show winner Buzzy Sullivan with his artwork
Best of High School winner Brooke Wright and family with her artwork
Best of Post-High School winner Aurora Berger with her artwork
Our first Tri-Color Gum Bichromate workshop with Diana Bloomfield last September was such a hit, we decided to do it all again! This past Saturday and Sunday Diana led nine students through this labor-intensive and difficult process. The workshop included many first-time gum printers, and despite the tricky nature of the process, all produced fantastic prints! As we gathered around to look at everyone’s completed work at the end of the two days, one thing was apparent: there is nothing like the magic of gum printing, and no one better to teach it than Diana Bloomfield!
We are grateful for all of our students, but we especially would like to extend a big THANK YOU to our four class participants who travelled from far, far away to take this workshop with us – Cary from Alaska, Timothy from Michigan, and Scott and Kelly from Pennsylvania. We’re so glad you could join us!
Diana discusses digital negatives during her demonstration at the beginning of the workshop
Diana “develops” an exposed print in water
Diana discusses the cyan-layer exposure she demonstrated as it hangs to dry – Terry, the student who provided the negative for this print, will later add yellow and magenta layers
Janet washes out her print after exposing the yellow layer
Karen coats her paper with a mixture of watercolor pigment suspended in potassium dichromate and gum arabic. The potassium dichromate hardens the gum arabic upon exposure to UV light; the parts of the coating blocked by the negative remain soft and wash away in water.
Tim washes out his print
Kelly very carefully registers the negative for her next layer
Janet, Tom, and Matthew attend to their prints
Each layer of pigment make a big impact when gum printing. The print on the left includes cyan, yellow, and magenta layers; the print on the right includes cyan and yellow. Both prints by Karen Hymer
Diana discusses the finished prints one by one with the class
Karen, Diana, and Tom mask off the brush-marked border of Cary King’s image in order to look at the print without visual distractions
Scott Wrage shares his tri-color print, not yet dry enough to pin up, with the rest of the class
Prints clockwise from left by Matthew Covarrubius, Kelly Wrage, Karen Hymer, and Timothy Wells
This past Saturday, March 26 we had the pleasure of hosting a Photogravure workshop taught by Tucson artist Karen Hymer! The weekend began with a lecture by Karen on Friday night – she talked about the history of photogravure and the evolution of her artwork as she continues to use the process.
Seven students joined us for the workshop and got hands-on experience making photopolymer plates from their images, then pulling prints from the plates. Karen taught the process using Solarplates, which are steel plates coated with a light-sensitive polymer emulsion. When exposed, the polymer hardens; the unexposed polymer washes away in water, leaving an “etched” plate ready for inking after the plate has dried in the sun. Ink is then applied to the plate and wiped from the highlight areas. Finally, paper is laid on top of the plate and both are run through an etching press.
We are forever grateful to our friends at Cattletrack Arts Compound and Santo Press for lending us their etching press – we could not have done this workshop without their help!
Karen demonstrates the “development” of the Solarplate in water
Exposed and developed plates harden in the sun
Karen demonstrates inking the plate
Participant Shari Trennert prepares to run her plate through the press
Shari has made a print from a “test strip” plate to check her exposure before committing to a full plate
Jean-Charles Chapuis, Cyd Peroni, Tom Moore, and Gina DeGideo hard at work inking their plates
Chris Palmer and Karen compare a test print with another print of the same image to check for contrast and density
Gina uses a cotton swab to fine-tune her ink application
Cyd lays a sheet of fine-art water color paper over her inked plate before running it through the press
Participants enjoy letting their creativity run free and working in a community environment
Participants let their finished prints dry before taking them home