Studio News

Spring is finally here in Minnesota, thankfully. I love the seasons but I’m as glad to see the back of all that snow and ice as everyone else.

 

Something else I’m thankful for is the variety of work I get to be involved with working with other artists. I’ve just finished printing two exhibitions as inkjet prints, both of which I’m really happy with, and now I’m currently working on projects that include albumen prints, salt prints, a platinum-palladium portfolio and an edition in polymergravure.

 

I love working one-on-one with photographers and I’m as happy making one print as I am a portfolio, an edition or a clamshell portfolio box to put it all in.

The Handmade Photograph

Recently Bostick and Sullivan, all round good people and who have supported practitioners working in the field of alternative and historical processes for decades now, had their first call for entries — The Handmade Photograph: Contemporary Photographers Working in Historic Processes.

 

Christopher James was the juror and I’m really pleased that not only did I have two prints accepted but that one was awarded an Honorable Mention!

 

The exhibition will be at the El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe, in the Railyard Art District, June 7th – July 27th, 2019. The opening reception will be on June 14th 5 – 7pm.

 

El Museo Cultural
555 Camino de la Familia
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501

Left
Temple of Apollo, Corinth, Greece
Platinum-palladium, 7″ x 7″
Honorable Mention
 
Right
Dust Storm, near Saguaro National Park, AZ
Polymergravure, 4.25″ x 8.75″

Minnesota State Arts Board Grant

This year I’m one of the very grateful recipients of a Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant.

 

The grant will allow me to continue working on Otherworld, to make images around the state and print them in silver-gelatin. We’re so lucky to have such funding opportunities here in Minnesota.

Polymergravure Class

We’re also getting close to the end of an eight-week Continuing Education polymergravure class at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. This is always a fun class to teach and so rewarding, seeing the prints that are produced during that period.

 

Fortunately/unfortunately it’s usually oversubscribed, so check my website’s workshop page regularly for details of any upcoming classes at either MCAD or Highpoint Center for Printmaking, or sign up for my newsletter.

Aquatint Screens

These fine-micron stochastic screens, the ones I use for my work, my clients and in the workshops I teach, are now available on my website at a special introductory price until the summer. Used with photopolymer plates, they are available in three contrast resolutions, soft, medium and hard.

 

These screens have been shipped to print shops across the U.S. and to Scotland, England and Australia. If you’re a school or college, or run workshops in polymergravure, email me to enquire about the availability of test screens.

 

Available in sizes from 8″ x 10″ to 20″ x 28″ although larger sizes are available – prices on demand.

Van Gelder paper

Way back when I first came to the US, I started using Van Gelder Simili Japon paper for my own platinum printing. It was from the last remaining mill in Holland yet it was easily available in large sheets and had good wet strength. The downside was the watermark. Running the length of the longest side were the words ‘Holland’ at each end and in the middle its huge logo. These all encroached many inches into the sheet, so you lost quite a bit of paper, unless you wanted a print with the word ‘lland’ or ‘Holla’ in it.

 

 

 

Over the years other papers came along that were supposedly better for platinum printing, improved versions of Arches Platine, Weston Diploma, COT 320, and my use of the Van Gelder faded away. But recently I’ve found myself wanting to make prints on it once again. You can still buy the large sheets from New York Central, my original supplier, but that watermark… Then I found that they make an easily available, but lighterweight version, in convenient pads of 25 sheets for calligraphy. It’s only available in 12 x 9.5″ size but my prints are only 7 x 7″ anyway. Perfect! And it has good wet strength too.

 

With my work being so small, it’s easy for the texture of a paper to become distracting and lose detail. But after making just one print on this paper I remembered why I loved it so much, all those years ago. So the new prints I’ve been making are all on the Simili Japon, 50/50 platinum and palladium.

 


Temple of Apollo, Ancient Corinth, Greece.

 

New Prints in Platinum

A selection of newly printed work in platinum-palladium that I’ll be sending to Obscura Gallery soon.

 

Image Size: 7″ x 7″
Paper Size: 12″ x 9.5″
Paper: Van Gelder Simili Japon
Medium: Platinum-Palladium
Edition Size: 10 plus proofs
Price: $800

 

Contact Jennifer Schlesinger at Obscura Gallery for more information and to purchase prints.

 

Hahnemühle Platinum Rag Paper

For the best part of the past year I have been one of several beta testers for a new paper by Hahnemühle, formulated specifically for alternative/historical processes, and it’s beautiful. Straight out of the box, this paper worked for me.

Beta Test 001_612Those that have been around me long enough know that I’m not a printer who uses densitometers or relies heavily on calibration (although we absolutely need those people), so my testing was based on my real world conditions and variables. I changed nothing in my approach to testing and nothing really changed; my sensitiser mix and exposure times were virtually identical to those I would have used with Arches Platine. Very easy to work with, and with great wet strength, the coating was smooth, the blacks deep and has excellent separation throughout. I also tested both sides of the paper without any discernible difference. The weight, surface and colour of the paper give it the feeling of a luxurious, high quality paper, which it is. Bostick and Sullivan and Freestyle will both be carrying the paper from March.

I must thank Carol Boss at Hahnemühle for giving me the opportunity to be one of the beta testers and for listening to us and our requirements and pushing them forward.

Hahnemühle Platinum Rag is an uncoated fine art paper. It is designed to meet the highest quality requirements for platinum printing and any other non-traditional photographic printing processes like Palladium, Van Dyke, Cyanotype and Salt Prints. The natural bright white paper with a weight of 300 gsm is made of 100% cotton fibres, acid free and does not contain any alkaline buffering. Along with the optimised sizing, the paper allows for easy coating and clearing. Hahnemühle Platinum Rag excels with a beautiful tonal range and very deep blacks. The smooth, slightly textured surface lends the paper a pleasant feel-to-the-touch.

 

Hahnemühle Platinum Rag will be available in March in the following sizes:

8.5″ x 11″ 5 sheets (Sample Pack)
8″ x 10″ 25 sheets
11″ x 15″ 25 sheets
20″ x 24″ 25 sheets
22″ x 30″ 25 sheets

 

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Monovisions

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The online magazine Monovisions has just published a selection of images and the story behind Cy DeCosse‘s series The Midnight Garden. The images are all printed in platinum-palladium by me, and in editions of 30.

Of the magic created by Cy’s prints, one critic, John Wood wrote: “There is a luminosity in the lights and velvet depths to the darks that can take your breath and that is simply not present in the work of any other photographic artist. I have never seen platinum prints I have been so tempted to touch; I want to actually feel those dark, textured leaves, to really enter DeCosse’s garden.”