Sorry I missed this when it was first posted.
The "silence" is more a case of hard of hearing (or is it 'listening'?). I've been shouting to the rafters until even I'm sick of me! The problem is the history of corporate ownership/monopoly on the entire silver gelatin field. Unlike with collodion, dry plate wasn't a diy process for long. It moved straight from invention to factory, and Kodak, et al, were quite determined to keep it that way. They did an excellent job of brainwashing the public. Today, heirs to that Kodak philosophy, on APUG and at GEH, are still quite determined to 'own' the process. In a page straight from George Eastman's playbook, they claim it is too hard for anyone but the experts -- as though each and every formula were part of a religious canon. Nay, I say!! () Let the people make dry plates (and film and paper.) Last night (coincidence?) I decided to try to do something about the situation. Less than an hour ago, I posted the following in this sub-forum. Let me cross-post here.
"Iíll admit that it continues to puzzle me why dry plate photography is lumped with the difficult, expensive, and dangerous processes. It is no more so than any other area of chemical photography Ė that is to say, about as dangerous as standard household cleaning products. I just made 70 sheets of 2-1/4 x 3-1/4 film for less than $10 in materials. I did wear nitrile gloves, and I did have the darkroom ventilation fan going when I had the bottle of ammonia open, but to tell the truth, I have a fan in my inkjet printer closet because the solvent fumes give me a headache.
I havenít finished working out the details, but I will be giving a free seminar late summer in Newport, Oregon, with hands-on demos (more or less, depending on the number of people attending.) Dry plate, artisan film and paper will all be covered.
Peace, joy, and a good camera, and the best of fun and satisfaction no matter what your process!