From: Jonathan Bailey (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: 07/17/01-07:26:19 PM Z
> Hello Iím new to this list. I was wondering if there are any people out
> there making daguerreotypes?
I've made a few while attending two of The George Eastman House Dag-making
Workshops led by Ken Nelson (now led by Mike Robinson). It's a process I'd
like to explore more fully. I recommend you begin exploring this process in
a workshop setting with people who know what they are doing!!!
> I have a couple of questions for people doing daguerreotypes. I want to
eventually do 8X10ís...
Sure! Who wouldn't?? But that's a *very* big plate to polish effectively
and sensitize evenly. It might be better to begin with 4x5 and work your
> 2. Where can I get chemicals for sensitizing the plate?
Less and less easy. Like obtaining the plates, networking with practicing
daguerreotypists will solve many of these issues. (Also, check out the
resources listings at the back of The Worlds Journal of Post-Factory
> 3. Finally are there newer alternative chemicals used for sensitizing,
> developing and fixing? I know that mercury vapors were used in
> the original process to develop.
Nope. Still using mercury....
I was wondering if there is a safer way of developing
> out the image. I believe there is a process involving a filter
> placed on the exposed plate then exposing it to light to create a latency
Yes, that's correct.
It's very well suited to certain subjects and contrast ranges. It has the
advantage of not using the mercury to develop it - and that it only uses
iodine to sensitize the plate (rather that iodine and bromine).
> Then all you would have to do is fix it.
And gild it with gold, of course....
> Of course I have more questions then this but Iíll start with these. Any
> info or links to info would be appreciated.
But I cannot recommend strongly enough that you consider taking a class with
an expert to get your feet on the ground with this process. The risks are
quite manageable with knowledge and care (and the right tools!).
Jerry Spagnoli is teaching a dag-making workshop at The Formulary Workshops
next month in Montana. The only other place offering this is, as I
mentioned, The George Eastman House in Rochester, NY. But Jerry's class is
the one I'd search out if I were you - it's a week long class and Jerry is a
master craftsperson - and also an artist. It would save you years of
groping in the dark. Plus it would be fun!
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