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Assistant Dusting Plates
2009, 21 March (uploaded to blog)
Provided by the artist - Tom Persinger
This is my assistant Dominic Degradi prepping glass for the next pour. Details: 4╬5? ambrotype, F8, w/ a 10 mississippi exposure.
It seems that the day after the first day of Spring was a good time to make the first (fairly successful) plates of the year. After an ill-fated field trip last weekend (lesson one: check all of your supplies which over winter without use BEFORE heading into the field!) we repaired the silver bath and made two test plates today. Though not without flaws they do mark the first (successful) plates of the new season -and my first full season of wet plate (I'm not devoted enough to sniff ether in winter temperatures). I think this is a comfortable place to start.
Since my plans for wet plate are mainly field work I had to come up with a working portable darkroom. France Scully Osterman suggested what they use: a simple cardboard box. It's simple, easy to transport, and best of all cheap. I made mine from a wardrobe box from the UPS storeÓ shortly after purchasing I drove past an appliance store where they had some large microwave boxes out by the dumpster! You need at least a double wall box to have good rigidity. My portable darkroom needed to fit into the back my 2001 VW Golf (so I folded back the wardrobe box to create a 36 x 24 x 24? work area.
1 wardrobe box from UPS shipping store: $20
4 bags of 1/4x 1.5? bolts/nuts: $4
16 5/16? fender washers: $1.20
3 yards of red twill: $9 (on sale!)
3 yards of black corduroy: $18 (on sale!)
1 roll gaffers tape: $11
[Source: Tom Persinger, f295 blog, www.f295.org, Spring 2009]