Not much to say about today that isn’t already in the Lab Notes. I didn’t quite make my eight hour committment. Oh well, “stuff” happens. In addition it was very overcast today, so I’m not sure how well a Becquerel daguerreotype would have developed. Nevertheless progess was made – and never mind perfection.
Posts tagged: Plate preparation
Thanks to the meltdown of the California state budget this last year, Governor Schwartzenegger has given all California State University workers (including me) a gift of 24 days off without pay in the next eleven months. Rather than moping around about the loss of income, I have decided to devote each of my “extra” days off to attaining my ongoing goal of becoming a daguerreotypist.
Any of you who have followed my writing know that I have been conducting a rather slow motion quest – due mostly to lack of adequate free time. Excruciatingly slow. This temporary change in my schedule should give me the boost I need to at least make it to my first daguerreotype and hopefully beyond.
Today was the first day off, and I devoted it entirely to moving forward with my art. As part of my re-energized commitment, I have also decided to post my lab notes on these days as well. You can find those at the link below.
I’m heading over to CDags.org now to see if the experienced artists there will be willing to advise me on a problem I ran into today when I practiced fuming a plate for the second time.
Well, in the course of making a backup of TheDaguerreotypist this morning I wiped out some crucial WordPress files and brought down the whole site. Thank goodness for ISP’s that make periodic backups without being asked! After the restore I had everything except the most recent post about making a pair of buffing paddles. The pictures of the process are here.
The goal was to make a simple paddle that could be easily replicated in larger sizes, and had a system for holding on the covering cloth in a way that kept tension on the covering and also allowed the cover to be easily changed. The base material is a 1/2″ softwood board with a layer of felt glued to it. It is covered with Ultrasuede. The Ultrasuede has sewn in pockets to hold some pieces of 1/8″ steel rod that in turn are the anchors for a set of four steel springs. I also tried a string and spring version and a rubber band version, neither one of which worked very well.
The dimensions are not critical, you only need to make sure there is enough distance between the two steel rods so that the springs are under some tension. The free ends just tuck under the springs. The whole shebang just sits on the workbench and a plate held with a suction tool is rubbed back and forth along the top. It doesn’t move around much when polishing sixth plates. It might need some kind of hold-down in bigger sizes.
We will see how well it holds up in use. Now off to make a new ground glass for my camera to replace the one that fell out on my foot. This was not my best day ever.
I spent a fair amount of quality time this weekend in castle daguerre. Several hours were devoted to experimenting more with polishing plates. Since I was dissatisfied with my copper polish in the last go round, this time I worked on a sixth plate that I have that was donated to me by a daguerreian friend. It is already coated with silver and has been used a number of times, so it was a perfect practice subject. I wanted to see in what way working with the silver is different than the copper. Read more »
After some friendly goading from my closest dagurreian friends, I went out to the castle tonight to get some more hands-on practice with polishing. I’m sticking to bare copper plates still, since I don’t feel ready to tackle silver yet. True to my friend’s advice, I began to learn a few things that I didn’t read about in books – and confirmed a few that I had.
Fact 1 – Flat metal plates are not actually flat. Read more »