Still interested. I'm wondering if you might not find more demand from handcoaters in larger sizes, since it is more difficult to sensitize a large sheet evenly than it is a smaller sheet with 19th-century methods.
PE-don't give up on us so fast. I think that his might make for a great workshop.
Where are you located? I might never do my own coating but I just might need to so at some point. Keep us informed please.....
Whoa, hold on! dont give up just yet. I might not be able to take the workshop but I am definitly interested in the blades for film. Let me tell you, doing this over wet plate collodion seems a lot easier, expensive at the start but I imagine after a few years the blade will pay for itself, specially when they stop making film.
But, if there is little interest, then I will simply not go to the trouble until the world beats a path to my door.
I think it will be hard to get a lot of committment from people who can not see a blade or how it works. If you were able to demonstrate the use of one at the APUG conference (part of a workshop) you could quickly gauge real interest. Also it only takes a few individuals to see something and be excited about the posibilities. Once they start discussing it here, LF forum, Photonet, the Alternative Phtography site etc you will get real interest. The key is show it to a few key individuals who's opinion everyone respects.
You may just create a who new sub group of analog practioners who coat all their own silver film and paper as a more hands on approach. Like those nutty Dageurreotypists and and wet plate folks.
I agree with David that something along the lines of 11x14 would be of interest to a lot of alternative folks.
"Fundamentally I think we need to rediscover a non-ironic world"
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I agree with what others have said...this is too important to just give up on.
Just to give an example of the large sheet issue for those who aren't aware of it (and I'm sure PE is aware)--at the albumen workshop I recently attended we looked at a an early 20x24" albumen proof that Daniel Levin had made with one of John Dugdale's negatives, just as he was learning to work with the large sheets. With albumen, the interface between the albumen coating and the sensitizing solution is critical, making brushing impossible, because there will be a streak at each edge of the brush, and floating becomes increasingly tricky as size goes up, because you'll get marks if there is any jerkiness in floating the albumenized sheet on the silver nitrate solution. While we kind of liked the handmade artifacts on the proof, Daniel assured us that gallerists are not generally of the same opinion, and that a print with concentric marks from jerky coating would be unsaleable (unless the artifacts were part of some clear aesthetic plan).
One can learn to float a 20x24" sheet evenly the traditional way (larger actually, since the edges would be cut off), but practicing with that big tray of silver nitrate solution can get very expensive.
Well, I'm in Rochester NY. The center of the film universe in the USA.
I would try to get to the APUG conference in Toronto, but the ICPS conference (International Congress of Photographic Science) is in Rochester the same week IIRC, and I want to attend that. It is high on my priority list as well.
However, anyone on their way to Toronto going past Rochester (or across the lake on the Rochester <-> Toronto ferry) is welcome to stop for a demo, if I cannot make it to the APUG event. Well, you can stop even if I do make it to the APUG event.
I'm not going to give up. I'm going to wait until they stop making film and you are all cornered and then I will have you all in my hands. Muahahahaha.
David, unfortunately as with everything there is also a learning curve here and the larger the size the harder to coat uniformly. I must add that using the blade is easier and takes less solution to coat a given area, but you are still subject to motion variables if you are inexpert at using the blade. This introduces horizontal chatter marks as the blade varies in speed across a large sheet.
The nice thing is that you can practice with nothing more than a large sheet of inexpensive paper and some dyes in water and gelatin and keep at it in the light until you get your technique down perfect. This is what I did.
Another nice thing is that with this method, you can coat multiple layers and keep them isolated from each other. I have coated color materials this way with up to 6 layers. So, I'm even preparing for that eventuality. The need to hand coat color. I truly hope it never comes to that.
i too have an interest in this sort of thing.
i was wondering ...besides a blade being a constant distance above the surface being coated, does this sort of device work the same way one would use a glass rod for spreading emulsion type substances ... like a cross between a squeegee ( windshield wiper blade ) and a razor blade --- with a constant gap/height ( = more percision)?
can't wait to see the pix!
much thanks -