Today, I pulled four prints which, in antho typist’s language, translates to “stopping” an exposure. Most are life-sized but this tiny one is from a Barbie doll. The scale would be perfect for mail art if I could make many of these. The size is about 3 x 5 inches and the anthotype was made using leftover beet root. The exposure took less than a week.
It may seem like I only do anthotypes. My studio practice lately seems to confirm this. It is summertime and the anthotypes are easy. Relatively.
I just rediscovered my second stash of spring clamps which means that I can put together a lot of anthos at once. One of the pigments I am working with comes from some old beet root bits like the root and just below the stalk. It is a relatively fast pigment. In the picture below, the new anthotype just went out this morning around 9 am. The bedjacket anthotype on the right has been getting sun off and on since last Friday at 10 am.
There may be quite a few of the square ones this summer. So far I like the shape better than the long rectangle.
It is difficult to know where to start, when I haven’t blogged about my making work in three months.
I am currently using red tulip petals collected during early May. Truly gleaned because allof the petals were on the ground. The ones that were too damp, we’re cleaned in water and ground up in a mortar and pestle. That first red tulip anthotype of the year was one of two images I’ve made involving two bed jackets. The exposure was stopped late last month and is a bit more narrative than the first double bad jacket image (made from yellow onion skin).
Below are both of the images. Top: yellow onionskin “Two Bed Jackets”. Bottom image: “Puppet Show” in acidified red tulip.
Today doesn’t really count (as day one). I have had this sheet of 59″ x 46″ coated water color paper waiting for a couple of things to occur. The first item was getting a sheet of OSB cut down to accommodate the paper. I got around to that late last week. Forty-six inches happens to be the widest sheet the Subaru Forester will accommodate.
The second hold-up: I was planning on using another peignoir but decided that if I was going to continue to use pajamas in this series that the added opacity of men’s sleepwear would be best served by exposing the anthotypes as close to the summer solstice as possible.
Today’s mail produced a vintage set of Sears summer pjs.
The third obstacle actually has a fourth obstacle associated with it. Working this scale means either buying a sheet of plexiglass or scavaging the garage for an alternative. Since a new sheet of plex would be around seventy dollars, I opted for the latter. I ended up cutting down three scraps that when pieced together would cover up the paper and pajamas. That was today.
Last Saturday I attended a presentation on proper techniques for packing art work for shipping. It was during that session that I was introduced to plastic cling wrap. This is what I ended up using (along with a small amount of packing tape) to secure the three separate pieces of plex, hopefully creating a water barrier in the process.
Tomorrow will be officially day one.
I don’t know why I was worried about mixing colors. I always had this idea that the water content in an anthotype emulsion would wash away an underlying color.
I started coating another sheet of Fabriano with onionskin and ran out of time before the solution got too ripe with bacteria. After about six coats I had to toss the old onionskin solution. Soon afterwards I got either stupid or courageous and decided to open a can of beets and apply the beet water to the paper.
Voilà! Salmon resulted and the layers didn’t really wash each other away. It’s like I’m learning how to make watercolors.
This does create some new possibilities and problems. I can go back and add a different color on top of an already finished anthotype and purposely put it out of registration (these are essentially photograms).
My best laid plans of blogging while in Houston never materialized. As a backup, I planned on writing when I got back to Ohio which was Sunday. There was a lot of work to catch up on, mostly writing lectures and grading projects and papers.
So here it is Saturday, with plenty to do, no idea where to start and a blog I haven’t attended to.
Without re-hashing every meeting, with all of the good and the bad. I want to condense it all into a sense of direction. I got to re-visit Dr. Frangst and by re-visit I mean reacquaint. I had to discuss work I really haven’t talked about in a few years and I was forced to think about where the project ended. Getting reacquainted with a project means thinking about what worked and didn’t work. It also means after a few years of water under the bridge, finding a way to reconnect with the project.
The last image I did was of Dr. Frangst hold a “baby” tree trunk rescued from my neighborhood. It really was a homage to the Jan Svankmajer film “Little Otik” in which a childless couple raises a ravenous tree stump as their offspring. I don’t think it was a misdirection but rather a mis-edit for the project. The last really successful image is Dr. Frangst in the Gingko Photogram coat. This is where I think I can re-enter the project.
Creating more of these photogram leaf coats and wearing them in the Ohio landscape. Additionally, the lab coats themselves will become photographic objects that I will display.
This means teaching myself how to sew (maybe having Bridgette give me some lessons and getting her sewing machine repaired) because I am going to be using a sewing pattern to create pieces of coats which will be exposed and processed in the cyanotype process.
Next up yellow and purple together in the anthotype process.
This will be a bit of a strange detour for me. Doll clothes. Somehow in my search for sleepwear, a bathrobe for a Ken doll came up. That led me to pajamas for Ken which in turn led me to Barbie’s Nightie Negligee. Despite the oddness of working with doll clothes, it did solve a couple of problems.
Scale. Making tests that would fit into smaller printing frames. Now I can try different plant materials on smaller sheets of paper before committing to a larger sized sheet of paper able to fit adult sized sleepwear.
Light Resist: The Nightie Negligee is interesting because of its transparency and opacity. It has distinct lines and a sheerness that will allow light to be held back or to freely pass depending upon the layers and folds of the garment. In other words, I don’t have to cut it up.
The exposure begins today, overcast and twenty eight degrees Fahrenheit. The Anthotype (ten coats of saffron emulsion) should be safe from the elements. I’ve wrapped it in a plastic bag to protect it from the elements. There will be two more of these “tests”. One will be the other half of the Nightie Negligee and the other Ken’s Pajamas. One possible direction for this project might be homemade Ken and Barbie sleepwear. I need to sleep on it.
Regarding the title of the post, yes it is a nod to the name of the official Twin Peaks Fan Club newsletter.